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Commissioner Munson apologizes to board in wake of assault charge

October 29, 2003|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Washington County Commissioner John C. Munson apologized to the other commissioners and county staff Tuesday morning, saying "what happened or didn't happen" in a cellular telephone store that resulted in a second-degree assault charge against him was an embarrassment to the board.

Munson's voice cracked while he made the comments during a County Commissioners meeting.

"I'm sorry. I hope you will forgive me. I have to leave now this morning to see an attorney," Munson said.

The other commissioners did not respond to Munson's comments. Munson returned to the meeting about 30 minutes later.

Trisha Lynette Lynn, an employee at U.S. Cellular at 37 Eastern Blvd., filed a complaint against Munson in Washington County District Court on Monday. Munson is to appear in court Dec. 23 on a second-degree assault charge, Court Commissioner Chuck Bowler said Monday.

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Lynn wrote in an application for statement of charges filed Monday in District Court that Munson entered the store and said he was having problems with his cell phone charger.

Lynn told him she would replace the phone, but that it is U.S. Cellular's policy that it be returned with its original packaging, the court papers say.

Munson said he did not have the original packaging, and Lynn said in the court papers that she advised him again that he would need it in order for the phone to be replaced.

He became irate and "threw the phone, the charger" and receipt across the store and "used profanity ..." Lynn alleges in court papers.

Munson walked toward the exit of the store, but turned around and returned, court papers say.

"I was bent over picking his things up and he came around the counter yelling about his things, pushed me after I repeatedly told him not to touch me," Lynn alleged in the court papers. "My eye hit off the counter because of push."

Lynn said in the papers that she called police and that Munson was not to re-enter the store.

"After moments of me telling him over and over ... he finally shut the door and I locked the door so he could not re-enter," Lynn said in the charging documents.

Police arrived at the store but did not charge Munson because the allegations involved a misdemeanor assault that was not witnessed by police, a police spokesman said Monday.

Munson declined to comment Tuesday night on the allegations in the court papers, saying his attorney had advised him not to talk.

Munson said Monday night that he threw the items at a store wall but denied pushing Lynn. He said Lynn was on one side of the counter while he was on the other side.

He claimed Lynn became upset with him because he wanted to replace his charger. Munson said he "went off the deep end" and that he was wrong to do so.

Munson said Monday night before he was served with a summons to appear in court that there were no witnesses in the store and that he would fight any charges if they were filed.

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