December 15, 2015 / 7:25 PM / 4 years ago

Alabama mayor, councilor in hospital after brawl; both pressing charges

(Reuters) - A true backroom brawl erupted on Tuesday between the mayor of Alabama’s largest city and a city councilor, and ended with both men in hospital and planning to press charges, officials said

The altercation between Birmingham Mayor William Bell and city councilor Marcus Lundy, dubbed #brawlatcityhall on Twitter, took place in a back room during a routine council meeting, authorities said.

Bell was seeking the arrest of Lundy, who also planned to pursue charges against the mayor, according to statements from their offices.

Bell told police that Lundy grabbed him from behind and put him in a chokehold after closing a door to prevent the mayor from leaving, according to a Birmingham Police Department report.

A video from the council meeting captured the sound of someone shouting “no, no, no” in the background, according to a recording sent to news outlets by the city council’s office.

The mayor’s office issued a short statement saying that Bell was recovering at a hospital and had initiated a police report. He underwent a CT scan and an MRI, the city said on Twitter.

The mayor was left with bruising on his neck and a swollen knee, the police report said.

Lundy sustained what appeared to be bloody scratches to his leg, according to images released by the City Council’s office.

No charges had been filed as of Tuesday evening.

“It’s a sad day when council members are attacked while trying to do the job that they were elected to do,” City Council President Johnathan Austin said in a statement, calling the incident the result of ongoing “lack of respect.”

While details on what started the fight were not immediately available, the two politicians have a testy relationship, news website reported.

Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Leslie Adler

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