Caught on Tape: Sevier Co. Sheriff accused of assault

Sevier County (WVLT) -- Public remarks lead to a public confrontation in Sevier County, where a former political opponent claims Sheriff Ron Seals assaulted him.

It happened Monday night as the county commission quickly adjourned a public meeting while Brad Lowe was speaking.

Volunteer TV's Rob Pratt joins us with more, including video of the incident that you'll see only on WVLT.

Brad Lowe admits he wanted to be sheriff, and it's no secret that he and Sheriff Seals do not get along.

But he says what happened to him Monday night is inexcusable, and he wants to see Sheriff Seals prosecuted for assault.

The Sevier County Commission gave Brad Lowe a chance to speak last night, but not for long.

When he started making accusations about abuse by jailers, commissioners adjourned the meeting.

Lowe kept his own camera rolling as the Sheriff crossed the room to confront him.

Lowe:"Oh no, that's an assault sir."
Seals:"I didn't assault you."
Lowe:"Yes you did. That hit me. I'm going to got take out a warrant for you sir."
Seals:"Do what you need to."
Lowe:"I will"
Seals:"Do what you need to."
Lowe:"I will fat boy."
Deputy:Hey, hey."
Seals:"You need to go."

Lowe says Seals assaulted him when he slapped the camera lens and his hand.

Lowe talked to District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn this afternoon, hoping prosecutors will pursue assault charges against the Sheriff, "If that's the way he's going to deal with problems, I think he needs to see a psychiatrist."

Clark King was at the meeting.

He's admits he's had problems with the sheriff before, but says the sheriff is the problem, "Sheriff Seals is way out of line in his conduct toward me personally earlier, he's way out of line in his conduct toward Mr. Lowe, and you shouldn't have public officials like that."

We tried to give Sheriff Seals a chance to tell his side of the story, but his staff told us the Sheriff is out of the office.

We left our phone number, but we haven't heard from the Sheriff.

Chief deputy Larry McMahan would not comment either, saying he'd prefer that any comment come from the sheriff.

Lowe says, "When my rights are infringed upon, it will soon be your rights that are infringed upon, and therefore, if we don't take a stand now, I just hate to think what could happen."

Let's be clear, no charges have been filed against Sheriff Seals or anyone at this point.

We talked with District Attorney General Jimmy Dunn, but he could not comment.

Lowe says if local prosecutors do nothing, he'll contact the united states justice department, hoping they will get involved.


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