Update, June 10, 2:44 p.m.: Click here for a picture of the immediate aftermath.
Update, 11:42 a.m.: District Attorney spokeswoman Kathleen Walsh:
"One, Dan was not a witness to that event — he did attend that meeting, but he was not a witness to that event — and two the Fountain police department is still investigating the incident, so they have not turned over their findings to the District Attorney's office for review at this time," she says. "So, we won't be discussing anything until after we review their investigative findings, and we make a decision on whether or not to charge."
During the break of last night's Fountain City Council meeting to consider the city's MMJ ordinance, Councilor Harold Thompson, responding to provocation from Al Lender, allegedly struck Lender in the face, with Mayor Jeri Howells
and District Attorney Dan May looking on.
Lender had just watched Council decide that his land was incorrectly zoned for medical marijuana use.
"So after, they took a break, and I'm mad, and I went up to a few of the Councilors that voted no, calling them names, calling them whatever I could call them," Lender says. "And to Harold Thompson, I said to him, 'You son of a bitch, you just took my property rights away!' He just lunged at me and hit me in the head."
He adds: "I've got a nice barn on 14 acres, and I already have little grow there myself, but I wanted to expand it with a dispensary and really get going. And they took my property rights away."
Lender says Thompson's punch left no lasting damage, and that the police have advised him that the matter has been referred directly to May's office, for a decision on whether charges will be filed. No arrests were made, and the meeting continued after the incident, wherein Fountain decided MMJ centers must be 500 feet from parks or churches, and 1,000 feet from schools or daycares, limiting any medicinal activity to very small sections of the city, if at all.
Calls to Thompson and the D.A.'s office for comment have gone unreturned; we will update accordingly.