City council candidate Billy MacLeod was assaulted in Deep Ellum early this morning, resulting in a police report naming a "known suspect" who put MacLeod in a "choke hold" and threw him into Elm Street. MacLeod claims the attack was related to the new smoking ordinance, which took effect just minutes before the incident.
"I'm definitely the first person to get their ass kicked because of the smoking ban," he tells Unfair Park.
MacLeod, who's challenging Pauline Medrano in District 2, says he was at Club Dada and then headed to July Alley after noticing a commotion outside the bar.
"I walked in there with a cigarette in my hand, and the next thing you know, hands got put on me," he says, stressing that he was sober. "I got dragged outside, told that I was breaking the law, that I was a council member and responsible for the smoking ban passing."
Ironically, MacLeod has spoke in front of the council opposing the ordinance. He says he was initially confronted physically by a "hammered" female employee of July Alley, and then he went to speak with the bar's owner to complain. Suddenly, he claims a male employee assaulted him from behind.
"I got choked around the neck," he says. "I got dragged. I got thrown onto the pavement. I found myself in between two cars."
MacLeod says he was stomped on and has footprints on his shirt to prove it. He immediately called 911, and by the time the police arrived, the two employees were gone. He didn't seek medical attention but requested a police escort to a friend's house.
"This shows specifically that this is an incendiary issue -- no pun intended -- that people are smoking about the anti-smoking ordinance, and we don't have the infrastructure in place."