A Delaware Democratic state senator was accused of punching a woman in the side of her head amid a domestic dispute Sunday and later was arrested on misdemeanor charges of offensive touching and disorderly conduct.
What are the details?
Delaware State Police said troopers were dispatched to the Taverna Rustic Italian Restaurant in Wilmington around 6:20 p.m., where a 44-year-old woman said state Sen. Darius J. Brown, 39, punched her in the side of her face after the pair began arguing about a social media post.
Police said after Brown assaulted the victim, he got up from the booth where he and the victim were sitting and threw a glass of water, which shattered. Brown then left the restaurant and wasn't there when police arrived.
The victim sustained some redness to the side of her face but did not require any medical attention, police said.
Troopers then obtained warrants for Brown's arrest on misdemeanor charges of offensive touching and disorderly conduct, police said.
Brown turned himself in Tuesday and was processed and arraigned, then released on his own recognizance, although he was given a no-contact order with the victim, police said.
'Presumption of innocence'
Brown was absent from Tuesday's legislative session, and WDEL-FM said he didn't return the station's request for comment.
Dave Sokola — a Democrat and the state Senate's president pro tempore — told WDEL he'd consider taking formal action against Brown but that "presumption of innocence" must be maintained.
"Accusations of domestic violence are serious and in direct conflict with the values of the Delaware Senate Democratic Caucus," Sokola said, according to the station. "However, a presumption of innocence is one of the most sacred principles in the American criminal justice system. I will carefully consider whether any formal actions are warranted in the coming days as we learn more about this incident."
Call for resignation
Jane Brady, chairwoman of the Delaware Republican Party, called for Brown to resign if the allegations are true, according to the Cape Gazette.
"The behavior that has been reported, if true, is reprehensible and warrants his resignation," Brady said in a press release, the paper noted. "If Senator Brown refuses to resign, we call on the Senate to conduct an inquiry and expel him for conduct unbecoming an elected official."
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Brady cited to the bipartisan effort to expel former Republican Rep. John Adkins of Millsboro. "The circumstances are remarkably similar to the Adkins matter. In that case, Republicans recognized the need to act and did so. The Democrats should hold the members of their caucus to the same high standard," she said.
In 2006, then Republican representative Atkins, was stopped in Ocean City for suspected driving under the influence and a few hours later was charged with offensive touching in connection with an argument with a former wife. He resigned his seat but was re-elected in 2008, running as a Democrat. Atkins retained the seat by 69 seats in a 2012 challenge by Republican Rich Collins, but lost the seat by 352 votes in 2014 to Collins, who has held the seat since.