Viral video showing alleged assault being investigated by Dayton police

Former Dayton City Councilman Josh Townsend and an unnamed 18-year-old man were reportedly involved in a verbal argument that escalated into Townsend pushing the other man on Sunday at Parker Park in Dayton.

By Vanesa Brashier,

A viral video posted to social media showing an altercation between two men in a Dayton park could result in a Class C misdemeanor citation issued to former Dayton City Councilman Josh Townsend, according to Dayton Police Chief Rob Vine.

The video, posted on the evening of April 21, reportedly shows Townsend pushing another man against a perimeter fence next to the tennis court at Parker Park in the 1200 block of N. Winfree St. The incident reportedly took place around 6 p.m. on Easter Sunday.

“You want to cuss at me? Huh? I am not going to play with you. Don’t cuss me,” Townsend is heard saying to the other man in the video.

The reason for the argument is unclear based on the video, but Townsend claims the other man, who filed the police report, threatened him in the moments before the video began.

“He got disrespectful. It’s stupid,” Townsend said, insisting that he was trying to keep the man and his friends from causing damage to the park. “You can’t go tearing up public property. I told them to get off. They were tearing it up.”

In a phone call with Bluebonnet News Monday, Townsend did not specify exactly what item at the park was being threatened but insists that he was spat on during the altercation.

“These people didn’t want to do anything about it, but later on they decided to file charges. Someone politically is trying to set me up. This is nothing new,” he said.

Dayton Police Department is investigating the incident and working to interview both parties.

“We will have to determine what needs to happen next, if the case is referred to the municipal court or dismissed,” Chief Vine said. “This is a Class C misdemeanor case, which carries about the same punishment as a speeding ticket.”

Any potential punishment for Townsend, should he be issued a citation and found guilty, will be determined by the municipal court judge.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


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