JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) – The Mayor of Hillsboro was arrested after allegedly yelling expletives and challenging a Jefferson County deputy to take off his badge and fight him at a High Ridge gas station.
Around 2 p.m. Monday, an on-duty deputy was confronted by Dennis Bradley, 65, as he was leaving the gas station. Bradley began yelling at the officer and challenged him to a physical confrontation, according to a news release from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
Bradley told News 4 by phone, "I pointed my finger and tapped him on his jacket. I wasn't trying to do him bodily harm."
The mayor and officer have a history with each other as the officer reportedly arrested a Bradley's son for DUI in 2014. Reportedly this is not the first time Bradley has confronted the officer.
Surveillance video from the gas station shows Bradley walking into the gas station as the officer was walking out and Bradley taps him on the arm.
"The officer clearly was attempting to walk away," said Captain Gary Higginbotham with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department. "[He] mentions something like 'It's in the past, you need to go home, on with your business.' Something to that effect."
Police said the deputy advised Bradley to leave him alone but he continued to follow the deputy to his patrol car. Bradley began poking the officer in his chest, demanding him to take off his badge and gun. Bradley was warned repeatedly to stop touching the officer or he would be taken into custody, police said. After refusing to comply, Bradley was placed under arrest.
"At some point Mr. Bradley got a hold of his hand or his fingers and his wrist and began twisting. So at that point he disengaged and used pepper spray," Higginbotham said.
The arresting officer had to pepper spray Bradley in the confrontation. The mayor faces possible charges of resisting arrest, stalking-harassment and assault in the 4th degree. He was transported to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and released. Bradley told News 4 that he was wrongfully arrested after arguing with the officer and said the confrontation began after the officer allegedly gave him the middle finger.
The officer now has an order of protection against the mayor, and in documents filed with the court, claims Bradley tried to confront him again when he was released from jail.
Bradley, who was sworn in less than a year ago, said he will not resign and the Board of Aldermen would have to vote him out to make him quit.
"Maybe I was wrong for the way I acted toward the officer. But I'm one who protects my family," he said.
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