Commissioner claims assault was on him

Published 5:46 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2016

CHOCOWINITY — The Chocowinity Town Commissioner charged with assault over the weekend says he is the victim in the incident that resulted in his arrest.

Curt Jenkins, elected to the town’s Board of Commissioners last year, was arrested by Chocowinity police and charged with misdemeanor assault after an argument escalated between him and a guest, Dorothy Wills, at his home.

However, Jenkins said he was the one who was attacked.

“It was just an argument. I asked her to leave. I said, ‘Look, I’m not talking about it — this conversation is over.’ The more I explained that she needed to leave, the madder she got. That’s when she hit me in the lip,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said police took pictures of his bleeding lip.

Chocowinity police said Jenkins put his hands on the woman, ultimately injuring her knees and elbows.

“I didn’t put my hands on her — they had to hold her back,” Jenkins said. “If she had any bruises on her, it was because the other two girls held her back.”

Jenkins declined to say what the argument was about, but did say it was him who called 911 twice, and when police arrived, he told them that he wasn’t interested in pressing charges. Two hours later, he was served with an arrest warrant, after Wills went to the magistrates’ office to press charges, he said.

“I went through the proper channels. I was the victim. And I was the one who ended up charged,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said he has no intention of resigning his position with the town, primarily because his purpose in running for the Chocowinity Board of Commissioners was to stand for “what’s right.”

“And this is a prime example,” Jenkins said. “I’m here for the town, for the people. That’s why I put my foot forward. I’m going to continue.”

Chocowinity town attorney Keith Mason declined to comment on the incident. When asked if there could be any ramifications for Jenkins’ arrest, Mason said that unless a local government has passed a recall bill, there is no state statute governing the removal an elected official from office, except under really extreme conditions. Only 25 towns in the state have passed a recall bill, Mason said, and Chocowinity is not one of them.

“Even if the town had a desire to take any action, I don’t think there’s anything they can do,” Mason said.

Jenkins court date is set for Sept. 20. He has a previous assault charge from Jan. 1.