VESTAVIA HILLS, AL (WBRC) - A 71-year-old man has been charged in the weekend attack on Talladega's mayor.
Benny J. Green of Irondale was arrested and charged with first-degree assault, according a news release from the Vestavia Hills Police Department. Green used to co-host a television show with Barton, now Green's wife co-hosts with Barton.
Officers responded to the scene of a reported assault on Saturday, Aug. 8 at 7:55 a.m. in the 3100 block of Cahaba Heights Rd. to find the victim, now identified as Talladega Mayor Larry Barton.
Barton, 75, told police that he allegedly was attacked while getting out of his car by the suspect with something similar baseball bat. He said he was hit repeatedly in the head.
"He starts wailing me with this, not a ball bat but something that looks like a bat," Barton said. "Hitting me on the head, in the jaw, and when I started to reach for it to stop it, he started punching me in the face his fists."
Police say Green was arrested on the scene after bystanders detained him when he tried to flee on a bicycle. He was first taken to Brookwood Hospital for evaluation and then transported to the Vestavia Hills Municipal jail.
Gene Rutledge, Barton's attorney, and long-time friend, believes politics are to blame, not an extra marital affair, as some have alleged.
"I think that all this has to do with the election, which is going to take place in two weeks. I don't believe a word of it, that he did anything with Ms. Green that brought this situation about." Rutledge said.
Green will be transferred to the Jefferson County Jail, pending a $150,000 bond requirement.
Barton is currently at UAB hospital.