Police arrested a city commissioner in Dothan, Alabama, this week, after an altercation with a local news reporter was caught on camera.
Amos Newsome, 82, struck WTVY reporter Ken Curtis in the face after a commission meeting Tuesday. Curtis was trying to ask Newsome whether he was going to resign from public office in the wake of a voter fraud scandal tied to his 2013 re-election.
Newsome has been charged with third-degree assault.
"WTVY is extremely disappointed and horrified by the actions of Dothan City Commissioner Amos Newsome for his unwarranted physical attack on one of our employees," the station's vice president and general manager, Spencer Bienvenu, said Tuesday in a statement. "We understand that holding political office can be stressful, but that never warrants unwanted physical contact, let alone an open, public assault."
"I'm sure it has been a very stressful time for [Newsome]," Curtis told the Dothan Eagle. "But this is not about me. This is about freedom of the press. This is for the right we have to ask questions that the public has a right to know about."
He also said he was "sorry" Newsome felt it was necessary to hit him.
Other commissioners told the Dothan Eagle that they were disappointed by their fellow member's actions, with several calling for Newsome's resignation.
"Completely embarrassing and a black eye, literally, for the commission," District 4 Commissioner John Ferguson said. "I realize Halloween is coming up, but we can’t have commissioners pretending to be Amos Scissorhands. Mr. Curtis has a job to do and was asking legitimate questions that deserve to be answered."
Newsome could not be reached for comment.