NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Wakefield, NH, United States, 2006/03/30 - Austin Mayor Will Wynn roughed up a man at a party, but instead of being arrested for breaking the law he is being offered police protection. Has use of spin kept the mayor out of jail?.
Luke A. Johnson, 26, did not go quietly when Austin Mayor Will Wynn physically removed him from a courtyard, but his complaint that Wynn chocked him was disregarded by police.
Apparently the police were using selective enforcement of the law, which states: "A person commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly causes physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative." [Texas Penal Code, Title 5, Chapter 22, Assaultive Offenses § 22.01(3)]
Johnson went to an area hospital for examination where he claims he obtained evidence that Wynn injured his neck. Johnson filed an Austin Police Department report against the Wynn for "Assault by Contact." The police have taken no action.
Instead of finding ways to protect citizens from aggressive politicians, the City of Austin is now looking into the possibility of providing Wynn with police protection when he is away from City Hall, according to a news report on KVUE.
Wynn, 44, who is divorced and seeking re-election in May to a second term, had been invited by neighbors to attend the party. Johnson was also a guest, and was reportedly making jokes about Wynn's name.
Wynn has been unpopular because of his vote to place a toll on existing roads in Texas.
"Mayor Wynn does not care that 93 percent of the public feedback opposed tolling our freeways," commented Sal Costello of People for Efficient Transportation. "He's a hot-head who roughed up an out-of-state visitor for poking fun at him at a party where there was drinking going on. Austin needs a mayor who can keep his cool, control his temper, and vote to represent the will of the people."
The mayor did admit his abuse of Johnson, but tried to portray himself as a victim when he issued an apology:
"Unfortunately, I let the situation upset me, and after the man refused my requests to leave me alone, I physically escorted him from the property. I apologize for any embarrassment my actions may have caused anyone involved."
Wynn's Chief of Staff added further spin to the story by trying to make it sound as if Johnson was ejected from Wynn's home. The incident actually took place in a public courtyard that was part of the complex where Wynn has his home. The event was a public party and both Wynn and Johnson were invited guests.
"Asked a series of questions about his name... and was he really the mayor of Austin. The mayor really didn't like the conversation was going and asked him to leave him alone several times, but the man did not leave him alone so the mayor escorted him from his residence," said Richard Arellano, Chief of Staff according to published reports.
Costello said the people of Austin are not fooled by the tactics of the mayor and his staff to down-play the seriousness of the incident.
"Wynn does not need police protection. If the police were there they would have stopped Wynn from assaulting a member of the public who was teasing the mayor about his name. The mayor should be used to it by now. It happens all the time. The people have been taxed once already to pay for our roads, and Wynn wants to charge them a toll to travel roads they already paid for.
"Perhaps Mayor ‘Double Tax' Wynn thinks he is above the law. We need the police protection from him, not the other way around," said Costello.
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