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Councilman charged in attack on drummer

March 31, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.VA.

A Shepherdstown Town Council member has been charged with battery and destruction of property after police allege he went to the War Memorial Building on West German Street last Saturday night and used a walking cane to hit the member of a band that was playing there, police said.

The destruction of property charge against Mark Wilson Smith, 69, of 105 S. King St., related to the "destroying, injuring or defacing" of property belonging to Curtis Paul Seiss, according to Shepherdstown Police Department records.

Specifically, the destruction occurred to Seiss's drum set and microphone and was estimated to be more than $250, police records state.

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The destruction of property occurred between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. while Seiss was performing in a band as part of a benefit for a local drama group, records state.

The battery charge stems from the allegation that Smith hit Seiss with a walking cane on Seiss's back, shoulder and leg.

Police Chief Curtis Keller said Thursday that he could only speculate on a possible motive for the incident. The War Memorial Building is sometimes used as a place for live music.

Smith, reached by telephone at his home Thursday afternoon, declined to comment until the case is settled. Smith said he might not say anything about it then either.

Smith, who has been on the Shepherdstown Town Council since 2002, also is chairman of the town's finance committee.

The case will go before Municipal Judge David Alter at 7 p.m. on May 10, Keller said.

Each of the charges carries a possible punishment of up to a $500 fine and one year in jail, Keller said.

Smith is free on a $460 personal recognizance bond, Keller said.

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