Back-Room Brawl Breaks Out Between Alabama Mayor, Council Member

'Senseless foolishness'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2015 5:17 PM CST
Birmingham mayor William Bell got into a fight with a council member during a city council meeting on Tuesday. Both men ended up in the hospital, and charges are pending.   (Frank Couch/ via AP)

(Newser) – A routine day of city governance ended with a mayor and city council member hospitalized and lobbing legal threats and accusations at each other via staff, coworkers, and official city social media accounts, reports. The "senseless foolishness"—in the words of Birmingham city council president Johnathan Austin—started when mayor William Bell and council member Marcus Lundy went into a back room during a council meeting Tuesday. Things apparently escalated during a conversation about a consultant, and the men attacked each other. According to the AP, reporters covering the meeting could hear someone shout "no" multiple times during the kerfuffle.

Afterward, both men were taken to the hospital, reports. Officials say Bell got a CT scan and MRI. Meanwhile, Austin tweeted photos of scratches to Lundy's leg. Lundy's people state assault charges are coming for Bell. Bell's team counters that an arrest warrant will soon be issued for Lundy. "This right here is ridiculous," Austin says. "It makes no sense." According to AP, another council member added: "Boys need to grow up and be men." Police are continuing to investigate the situation to see if charges are warranted. "Violence is never the answer regardless of the location," NPR quotes the Birmingham police chief. (Read more Alabama stories.)

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