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Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

AMITE, La. -- The mayor of Amite is re-evaluating security procedures after violence erupted at a city council meeting Tuesday night. In this case, the kicking and punching was between a resident and a council member.

'He told them, 'Come here. I want him arrested because he threatened me,' because I told him I was gonna put him in jail,' Gerard Wilson said.

'He said he was gonna kill me,' said Councilman Jonathon Foster, 'He started talking about what he was gonna do and then he starts to reach in his pocket, and I felt threatened, so I did what I had to do to protect myself.'

'I don't know, all of a sudden, he came so fast, I turned around and he swing and hit me again, and when he hit me, he knocked my glasses, my phone, my glasses all bent up,' said Wilson, 'I fell straight on my butt. Flat.'

After that took place, Foster and Wilson, who has lived in Amite since Hurricane Katrina, were arrested on fight-related charges.

The two are at odds over Wilson's use of a piece of property to sell cars. Foster, who does not represent the area, says it's illegal. The debate over the property's zoning was civil during the council meeting, but the fight between the two men followed moments after adjournment.

'I shouldn't have been arrested,' Wilson said. 'And there's a PD police officer there, and he sees this man attack me, he's supposed to cuff this man immediately.'

'It's unfortunate what happened, but I have to protect myself,' said Foster.

Mayor Buddy Bel says meetings at City Hall can get heated often, but he's never seen anything like this. It could lead to the use of metal detectors, even though no weapons were used in Tuesday night's fight.

'We have the equipment, we have use of it and I'm probably going to implement it and council meetings in the future,' Bel said.

The mayor hopes the town's image doesn't become of a victim of the brawl in the long-run.

Wilson says he plans on suing the councilman for his injuries and the city for wrongfully arresting him.

Both misdemeanor cases have been transferred to district court. This is the second incident of an Amite council person caught up in legal trouble in the past six months.

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