Two held in assault bid on Aberdeen's mayor

June 09, 2007|By MARY GAIL HARE

Aberdeen police have charged two city residents with second-degree assault in an attempted attack on Mayor S. Fred Simmons, authorities said yesterday.

Dravine I. Henderson, 18, threatened Simmons with a baseball bat and used abusive language, police said.

A 17-year-old boy, who was egging on Henderson during the incident on East Bel Air Avenue at noon Wednesday, was also arrested, authorities said.

"They approached the mayor aggressively with Henderson holding a bat," said Sgt. Fred Budnick, police spokesman. "They made verbal threats and gestures. They knew who the mayor was. This was an aggressive confrontation or, at least, it had potential to be."

When Simmons, who often walks through the city's more troubled neighborhoods during the lunch hour, radioed for help, the two fled.

"Most of the time, I have police protection, but, in this case, I was alone," Simmons said yesterday.

An officer arrived quickly and, with a description from Simmons, was able to locate the two suspects a few blocks away.

Simmons has a permit to carry a concealed weapon and was armed during the incident.

"I always have a gun with me," he said.

Henderson was released on his own recognizance, authorities said.

The youth was released to the custody of his guardian.

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