"I'm not guilty of anything," Snyder asserted Saturday in an interview outside the jail before heading to see a doctor.
Snyder said he and Shields were arguing over time limits for speaking at the meeting when Shields ordered the Town Marshal Jack Tiller "to get rid of him."
Snyder said Tiller came up behind him as he stood up to leave and then followed him out. With notebooks and a canvas bag in his left hand and a tripod and video camera in the other, Snyder said he was using his side to open the door to exit the Town Hall.
"The next thing I know, Jack had lunged at me and pushed me through the door," Snyder said. "I hit my head so hard (on the concrete), I passed out. "When I came to, he's on top of me pounding me in the head. I say, 'Stop it, Tiller.'
"Jack did not tell me I was charged with anything or that I was under arrest," Snyder said. "He just decided to beat me up with my arms full."
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Council Member Suffers Concussion From Police Officer's Attack
Controversial Roseland town council member David Snyder, after being ejected from Friday night's council meeting over an argument with the council's president, sustained a concussion as a result of being first shoved into a glass exit door and then being taken down to the ground by Town Marshal Jack Tiller and being repeatedly struck in the head by Tiller. Snyder claims he was knocked unconscious when he hit the ground and did not resist Tiller's arrest. He has been charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. A felony charge Tiller initially leveled against him for battery on a police officer was dropped. The South Bend Tribune's Marti Heline writes:
Although some anti-Snyder witnesses, including the town council's vice president, claimed Snyder turned around and elbowed Tiller, a video taken by WNDU of the incident clearly supports Snyder's account. The video shows Snyder with the tripod and camera in one hand and his books and bag in the other hand. Snyder can be seen turning as he exited from the room without elbowing Tiller. Then Tiller can be seen shoving Snyder just as they move out of the camera's range. In the next viewable image of the two, Snyder is on the ground and Tiller is repeatedly punching Snyder in the head with no signs of resistance from Snyder. Snyder's camera, tripod and books are all laying on the ground near him outside the exit door. Snyder is visibly dazed, asking why Tiller beat him up.
Snyder's behavior at the meeting is by no means defensible, but if you view WNDU's video coverage prior to Snyder's expulsion from the meeting, the conduct of the town council's president was equally as offensive. Charley Shields repeatedly refers to Snyder as "crooked" and called him a "f____ing _________(unintelligible)" before Snyder was escorted from the room by Tiller. A disorderly conduct charge could have just as easily been leveled against Shields. The resisting arrest charge is completely bogus in my opinion after viewing the videotape of the incident. The use of unnecessary and excessive force by Tiller, however, warrants its own independent investigation. I wouldn't be surprised if Snyder now sues the town, which is precisely what it doesn't need right now--more legal bills. A WNDU interview with Snyder suggests that might just happen. Snyder is also calling for Tiller's resignation.