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MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) -- Verbal jousting turned into fisticuffs, leading to the arrest of a voter registration deputy who was charged in a fight with a newspaper reporter and a candidate, authorities said.
Will D. Statom, 56, was charged with misdemeanor battery after the scuffle on Wednesday with Nick Werner, a reporter for The Star Press, and Democratic 6th District congressional candidate Barry A. Welsh, police said.
Witnesses said Statom shoved the 27-year-old reporter in the hallway of the Delaware County building and the two fell to the floor. Welsh said when he tried to intervene, Statom hit him in the eye.
"It was a very serious attack," Welsh said. "I saw the distressed look on the face of the reporter. The guy had a serious choke hold on him."
The fight happened after an election board meeting that was filled with about 50 Democratic voters who were concerned that some 1,400 new voter registration applications would not be processed by the registration office by the April 15 deadline.
Statom told The Star Press that he was upset that the newspaper hadn't challenged the legality of the meeting, which he believed violated a state law that requires 48 hours notice for most public meetings.