Political Tensions Turn Physical - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/1/04

Political Tensions Turn Physical

Tensions seem to be running high on the local political scene. This weekend a verbal confrontation between Cody Gaines, a volunteer for the Charlie Stenholm campaign, and Robert Pratt, Lubbock County's Republican Party Chair, reportedly turned physical.

It happened at a Lubbock Cotton Kings hockey game Saturday night. Now, both men have two very different accounts of what happened.

"I ran into Mr. Pratt in the hall way a little later," said Gaines.

"They sought me out. They left their table and came a third of the way around to me the arena to me," said Pratt.

"I heard what you said and I really don't appreciate that. I felt it was disrespectful and inappropriate," Gaines said.

"They just started in on me. And I was like guys the Congressman came to me and I didn't say anything rude to him I mean I asked him a tough question," Pratt said.

"The whole time his voice kept getting louder and louder until he reached the point of yelling at me," Gaines said.

"I probably should of just walked away," Pratt said.

"Before I could even finish he grabbed me and slammed me into the wall. And my head hit the wall," Gaines said.

"I pushed him against the wall and said look don't call me a bigot. That is something I am not," Pratt said.

No punches were thrown, but both men agree the situation got out of control. Gaines filed a report with police and wants a public apology from Pratt. So far no charges have been filed.

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