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Jackson admits punching fellow councilor Eley

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Quentin Jackson

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By Peter Williams
The Perquimans Weekly

Thursday, October 4, 2018

HERTFORD — A Hertford town councilman has admitted punching a fellow councilman following a council meeting on Monday night, but claimed he did so in self-defense.  

Councilor Quentin Jackson was charged with simple assault after he allegedly struck fellow Councilman Sid Eley, according to a Perquimans County magistrate’s warrant.

Court documents show Eley claims Jackson hit him on his left temple with a closed fist.

Eley declined to discuss his altercation with Jackson Tuesday morning.

“I have been advised by law enforcement to only say that the matter is under investigation,” Eley said.

Jackson acknowledged punching Eley but claims he did so in self-defense.

“It was unavoidable,” Jackson said Tuesday. “It was self-defense. It was after the meeting and I just asked the man a question.”

Jackson said he asked Eley if it was true he was not going to support the Democratic Party in the upcoming election because the party supported both Jackson and fellow Councilman Frank Norman in the last town election in 2017.

“He just blew up,” Jackson said of Eley. “He got up in my face and was spitting and butting on me and I asked him, ‘Please get out of my face.’ I begged the man for two minutes and he wouldn’t get out of my face.”

Jackson also said that Eley had him boxed in so that he could not get to a door.

“I begged him,” Jackson said. “I didn’t want to hit him. He is my former teacher and my former football coach. But everybody knows he doesn’t like me or Frank Norman being on the board.”

Jackson said that Perquimans Magistrate George Long, who signed the simple assault warrant against Jackson, asked him if he wanted to file charges against Eley.

“I come from an era where you don’t press charges, but it may come to that,” Jackson said.

“He knows what he did was wrong,” Jackson said. “I wasn’t raised to hit anyone, but it was my last resort. He was bumping me and I asked him to please get out of my face, and when he wouldn’t, I hit him. I felt totally threatened. I just hit him once, because I wanted him to get out of my personal space. It could have been a lot worse.”

Town Manager Pamela W. Hurdle referred questions to interim police Chief Albert Webb. Webb was off duty on Tuesday morning and did not return a call for comment.

Perquimans Clerk of Superior Court Todd Tilley confirmed on Tuesday that Jackson was released on a $1,000 unsecured bond. Tilley said Eley’s complaint against Jackson is scheduled to be heard on Oct. 10 in Perquimans District Court.

Jackson’s arrest on the simple assault charge comes less than a month after a judge found him guilty of trespassing on his cousin’s property.

District Court Judge Meader W. Harriss III found Jackson guilty of first-degree trespassing on Sept. 12, sentencing him to 60 days in jail. Harriss suspended the sentence, however, and ordered Jackson to serve 12 months of supervised probation instead. 

The trespassing charge stemmed from a dispute between Jackson and his cousin, Catherine Flowers, over property Flowers owns on Brace Avenue in Hertford.

Flowers said Jackson was trespassing by living in a house she owns on her property. She sought six months of back rent from the councilman — a total of $2,400 — and $200 for damages she claims Jackson made to the property.

For his part, Jackson said that he and Flowers had an agreement that had him buying the house from her. He said he was not living in her house, but was making improvements to the property.

In August, Jackson was arrested for failing to appear in court on the trespassing charge. He was released in lieu of a $5,000 bond.

Jackson, who is serving his first term on Hertford Town Council, also is facing a perjury trial after allegedly denying in court that he was on probation when in fact he was.

Jackson was indicted by a Perquimans County grand jury on the perjury charge in May. The charge arose from statements Jackson allegedly made during a trial in February that ended with his conviction on a charge of misdemeanor resisting, delaying and obstructing a police officer.

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