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Florida mayor, girlfriend charged in domestic assault case

The mayor of Port Richey, Florida, said that if he's prosecuted for domestic battery, he will fight the charges.

The mayor, 67, and his 57-year-old live-in girlfriend each were arrested recently, accused of battering one another during a fight at their home, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said that during the argument, the mayor grabbed her with both of his hands and shoved her at their home. Witnesses who were in the house told deputies they heard a "thump" at the time of the alleged incident.

They were taken to the Land O'Lakes Detention Center. The mayor was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor domestic battery, the woman on a felony charge of battery of someone over age 65.

They both were held in lieu of $500 bail; the mayor bailed himself out the following day.

Shortly after the arrest, he spoke to television station WFTS.

"The main thing I learned from the jail is I don't want to go back," the mayor said. Under Florida law, he was required to stay in jail overnight.

He gave his own version of the event. He said his girlfriend hit him several times. He said he did not push her as the deputies accused him of doing.

"I didn't hit her. And I don't hit women," he said.

The mayor said he has known the woman for more than 30 years. She has been arrested at the mayor's house multiple times for allegations that include domestic violence and violating protective orders.

This "he said, she said" story could wind up being heard in court. Both parties are entitled to have representation to assist them in their court cases, should it get that far.

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