Reggie Copeland

Reggie Copeland

The Marietta Police Department confirmed Friday that Ward 5 Councilman Reggie Copeland called the police on a former opponent, Cristina Stallworth, after an incident at a senior housing complex.

A police incident report acquired by the MDJ documents the incident, which occurred Thursday morning during a Thanksgiving event at The Retreat at Dorsey Manor, a senior apartment building on Haynes Street.

Marietta Police Officer Chuck McPhilamy confirmed that Copeland had called the police.

Cristina Stallworth

Cristina Stallworth

Police were dispatched around 11 a.m. Thursday in reference to a dispute. Upon arrival, the officer spoke with Copeland, the report says.

“Reggie stated while shaking hands with ... Stallworth, she clinched on to his arm,” the report says. “Mr. Copeland advised us that he wanted us to speak with Ms. Stallworth to address the unwelcomed touching.”

The officer then spoke with Stallworth, the report says.

“Ms. Stallworth stated that she did grab onto Mr. Copeland’s arm during the handshake but didn’t mean to cause any harm and that it wasn’t done in a manner to cause ill content,” the report says. “I then advised Ms. Stallworth that the grab was deemed unwelcomed by Mr. Copeland and that he did not want to be touched again.”

Copeland told police he did not want to press charges, the report says, but wanted the incident to be documented. No further action was taken.

Copeland did not return requests for comment. First elected in 2017, he is seeking his second term on the council.

Stallworth ran an unsuccessful campaign to unseat Copeland in the Nov. 2 election. Another candidate, M. Carlyle Kent, finished first, with Copeland second and Stallworth third. Kent and Copeland advanced to a Nov. 30 runoff. Stallworth endorsed Kent the day after the general election, and has been campaigning for him.

Carlyle Kent

Carlyle Kent

Both Kent and Copeland attended the event Thursday to serve food to seniors and meet with voters.

Stallworth, who went to volunteer and campaign with Kent, told the MDJ Thursday that she arrived and saw Copeland as she walked in. She said she greeted Copeland and touched him on the arm, causing him to “scream” and tell her that she was not his friend.

Copeland went outside and was talking on the phone, according to Stallworth. Police arrived shortly after, and Copeland pointed Stallworth out to them.

Stallworth felt humiliated, she said, and told them she was simply saying hello to Copeland.

“He’s a big guy,” Stallworth said in an interview. “I’m 4-foot-11, he’s like 6-something. And he’s yelling at me and telling me not to touch him?”

Kent confirmed Stallworth’s account of the incident, and said Stallworth was upset and had tears in her eyes.

“It was just uncalled for, a waste of taxpayers’ money,” Kent said.

Another Kent supporter who attended, Jeff Halter, also witnessed the police arriving and speaking with Stallworth.

“The police were incredibly cordial to everyone. They were just doing their job,” Halter said.

Copeland has had incidents with law enforcement and others before. In 2018, he requested a restraining order against fellow Councilman Andy Morris after the two got into an argument after a council meeting. A judge dismissed the request.

Also in 2018, city communications director Lindsey Wiles filed an ethics complaint against Copeland, accusing him of berating her at a city event. The complaint was later dismissed on a technicality.

Last year, Copeland was arrested on misdemeanor counts of obstructing police after being involved in a car crash. Body camera footage from the incident showed Copeland refusing to exit his truck while an officer tried to investigate the crash.

Stallworth said Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin and Councilman Johnny Walker had called her to say they were sorry about what happened.

“I’m just a citizen at this point. And he was disrespectful to me, as a human and as a citizen, especially in his ward. Like, that’s not OK, if you’re gonna treat people that way,” Stallworth said.

KentStallworth.jpg

This photo, sent to the MDJ by M. Carlyle Kent, shows Kent, second from left, at the event at Dorsey Manor on Thursday with Cristina Stallworth, right.

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(4) comments

Mike Nelson

Copeland is such the drama series. He has accomplished nothing as a councilman besides his drama episodes, the marietta police incident, another of his drama series and now being assaulted by this woman. Reggie you need to put on your big boy pants and let someone take over your position.

gee whiz

Astonishingly to me as it might be, Mike Nelson is right. This guy is not fit for duty. He is more Facebook Troll material than city government material. If City of Marietta is to have a City Council, every citizen should vote on every council slot. District Council is what we have, and it's broken. The whole voting for just your candidate for just your district setup is rooted in giving liberal sections of the city a voice in city government. Being that the city is almost entirely liberal these days, it's no longer needed and in fact, as demonstrated here, this outdated council setup is nothing but detrimental to the city. City council should represent the city in conjunction with the mayor and city manager. This ongoing dysfunction on the council doesn't help anything at all. If we must keep the district rep setup, it needs to be redistricted such that its original intent is maintained. It is supposed to give the minority opinion a voice. That today is Republicans. Make a district called "You Might Steal My Trump Yard Sign But You Can't Steal My Trump Vote" and let all of them vote for their one rep so there's a conservative voice. By the way, Trump sold y'all that sign, right? And then claimed your Trump votes were stolen. Did he give you a refund on the sign. That is what I must know. I have to know. Did he refund the price you paid to buy those signs?

gee whiz

Oh and how much did your Stop The Steal apparel, signs and bumper stickers cost you? LOL. PT Barnum said something once. Everybody knew the saying at some point. Lotta folks need to look that one back up.

CRAIG BARFIELD

Copeland is unhinged and is always pulling stunts for attention. He is not fit to serve the people of Marietta.

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