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Alabama mayor, city councilor brawl ends in arrest warrant

A backroom brawl erupted on Tuesday between the mayor of Alabama's largest city and a city councilor, and ended with an arrest warrant being issued for the councilor after both politicians spent time in a hospital, officials said.

A backroom brawl erupted on Tuesday between the mayor of Alabama's largest city and a city councilor, and ended with an arrest warrant being issued for the councilor after both politicians spent time in a hospital, 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.

An arrest warrant was issued for Lundy, who faces assault charges, the Birmingham Police Department said late on Tuesday.

"He can turn himself in at the city jail," said a post on the agency's Twitter page.

Lundy also plans to pursue charges against the mayor, according to statements from the city council's office.

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Lundy maintained that he had been "physically attacked" by the mayor, the city council office said late on Tuesday.

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

The mayor's office issued a short statement earlier on Tuesday saying that Bell was recovering at a hospital. He underwent a CT scan and an MRI, the city said on Twitter.

Lundy sustained what appeared to be bloody scratches to his leg, according to images released by the City Council's office, which later said he had a "deep, three-inch abrasion to his left thigh."

"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 AL.com reported.

Related Topics: POLICE
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