News 12 first at five, May 29, 2008
Augusta, GA---There have been resignations and calls for resignations...now an actual fight before the meeting even got started.
"I'm very angry. We should never have to escalate to this," said community activist Woody Merry. A fight broke out before the Coliseum Authority meeting and ended with deputies being called to the scene. At the center of it all were two unlikely contenders...Woody Merry vs. board member William Fennoy.
"He followed me inside the building...got in my face...I asked him to get out of my face...he said...don't touch me. He continued to be in my face ...he said he would defend himself, and he threw a punch at me and I defended myself," said Fennoy.
A witness says Woody Merry confronted Fennoy for not showing up at Tuesday's canceled meeting, but Merry says it's bigger than that.
"Voting along racial lines...it's not gone be tolerated anymore. The community's angry, and nobody's scared anymore...nobody's scared...black or white. We've had enough," said Merry.
So, a black and a white went to blows after witness says Fennoy called Woody Merry a redneck. "I will not accept anyone bringing race into this...period, and if they want trouble let them bring race into it," said Merry.
Perhaps as a sign of good faith, Woody Merry says he has no intentions of pressing charges. "There's no need...there's no need in dragging this thing on and dragging more attention," said Merry.
A sheriff's deputy took statements from both men who have now both filed charges. Woody Merry's wife tells News 12 he has filed charges after being advised to do so. The two men will go before a judge in the coming weeks.