Sunday, October 22, 2006

MI State Senator Caught Taking Signs

(Apologies for posting the entire length of this article, but you will see why when you get to the end.)

Senator accused of verbal assault over lawn signs

The News-Herald

An alleged confrontation between a political activist and state Sen. Bruce Patterson (R-Canton Twp.) has led to allegations of assault.

Amy Brittain of Gibraltar has filed reports with the Gibraltar and Brownstown Township police departments about the alleged incident.

Patterson tells a different story and denies her allegations.

Brittain has accused Patterson and his campaign aide of stealing his opponent's election campaign signs, but Brownstown Police Chief Daniel Grant said that based on where the signs might have been located, they might have had the right to remove them.

Grant said the incident is still under investigation and that police will have to determine whether any larcenies or assaults occurred.

Patterson said he has been told that his aide had not removed campaign signs from private property. He said they were in the county right of way, and are considered litter and obstruct drivers' views.

Patterson represents the 7th District, comprising Belleville, Brownstown Township, Canton Township, Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile Township, Huron Township, part of the city of Northville, Northville Township, Plymouth, Plymouth Township, Rockwood, Sumpter Township, Trenton, Van Buren Township and Woodhaven.

Patterson's opponent in the Nov. 7 election for a four-year term in the Michigan Senate is Democrat Mark Slavens, also of Canton Township.

The incident occurred at about 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Hidden Oaks Condominiums off Allen Road in Brownstown Township, according to reports.

It began when Brittain and her boyfriend saw the aide removing election signs from the shoulder of the roadway at Gibraltar Road and West Jefferson.

According to Brittain, after she asked why he was removing signs, he took the signs from his vehicle and threw them at her.

After the first confrontation, Brittain and her boyfriend, Steve Sorge, whose last address is in Maumee, Ohio, then continued to Allen Road between Vreeland and Gibraltar and found the same man removing lawn signs and putting up Patterson election signs.

Patterson said the couple must have followed them.

According to Brittain, Patterson was helping his aide this time, and the couple confronted Patterson about what Brittain calls as an illegal act.

Brittain told police that Patterson said he had every right to remove the signs and that he called her a "dumb b——."

He also allegedly told her that she should "go back to Ohio" and that he should have her arrested for "littering Democratic signs."

After the couple left, Patterson allegedly followed and blocked them in a residential area with his truck.

Brittain told police that Patterson got out and asked her boyfriend if he was "the big man protecting the little girl."

She said Patterson began to verbally assault her and made a threatening gesture.

In some of his own political literature, Patterson describes himself as being about 6 feet 5 inches tall.

Brittain told police she got out of her vehicle and told Patterson that he should not be threatening them.

After Sorge told her to get back in, both parties left.

The couple told police that Patterson did not verbally threaten them.

Patterson said that although he will admit to inappropriate conduct in the past, he did not call Brittain a vulgar name.

"She wasn't worth expending the time or the effort on," Patterson said.

He said she had been yelling and addressing his aide by a vulgar name.

"This is the silly season," Patterson said.

(The text in yellow appeared in the online version, but did not in my printed edition of the newspaper!)

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