Authorities say discussions grew heated between Mayor Darren Burrell and Council Member Omar Thompson prior to a public meeting.
DARBY, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The mayor of Darby Borough turned himself into authorities Wednesday after he allegedly assaulted a council member following a meeting in early November.
Forty-one-year-old Darren Burrell faces charges including simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and terroristic threats with the intent to harm for the alleged November 3 assault on Councilmember Omar Thompson.
According to the arrest affidavit, discussions about traffic control and vehicular issues grew heated between Burrell and Thompson before a public meeting.
The alleged assault happened after the meeting when authorities say Burrell asked Thompson if he could talk.
At some point during the conversation, the complaint states that "Mayor Burrell got up from his seat and without provocation, knowingly and willingly came at Councilman Thompson, striking Councilman Thompson with his closed fist and grabbed at Councilman Thompson, resulting in Councilman Thompson falling to the floor."
Authorities say the fight was captured on surveillance video and there were reportedly two members of Borough Council also in the room when the incident happened.
Thompson was taken to the hospital and treated for a head concussion and injuries to his hands and leg.
Darby's Council President Rudy Taylor called the incident a "dark day" in the borough's history.
Burrell was released on bail and not allowed to have any communication with Thompson.
Read the full statement released by Council President Rudy Taylor:
"Mayor Burrell's arrest after an alleged physical incident involving one of our colleagues earlier this month is a dark day in Darby's history.
I want to make it clear and unequivocal: There is no excuse for violence in this body or in public life. The men and women who sit on this podium sometimes engage in vigorous debate about contentious issues. But we must always remain civil. It is what the people who elected us deserve and expect.
I have directed Borough staff to fully cooperate with the Delaware County District Attorney's Office and we must now let the criminal justice process take its course. While it does, it would be inappropriate for me to offer any other comment on the matter."
Burrell was released on $35,000 unsecured bail and is not allowed to have contact with the victim. The Borough Charter Rules according to a Pennsylvania State website's Borough Mayor's Manual does not require a Mayor charged with a crime to step down.
"Removal from Office The Constitution of Pennsylvania requires all elected officers to be removed from office upon conviction of misbehavior in office or of any infamous crime.41 The court convicting an elected official of a crime constituting misbehavior in office must apply the constitutional penalty of removal from office as part of the sentence."