‘He should consider dropping out’: Kentucky House candidate arrested for alleged strangulation at Walmart

Republished from Kentucky Lantern


Kentucky House District 67 candidate Brian Ormes admitted to an altercation with a group of juveniles before his arrest inside a Fort Wright Walmart on Monday, according to a police report on the incident.

Ormes, 53, of Southgate has been charged with strangulation first degree, menacing and assault fourth degree stemming from the incident involving a 17-year-old male alleged victim inside the Valley Plaza store around 9 p.m., Fort Wright Police Chief Edward Butler reported Tuesday. The name of the alleged victim has not been released to the media.

A police press release said Ormes “admitted to being in an altercation with the juveniles because of their unruly behavior in the store which he indicated impacted the safety of his child.”

Ormes posted bond Tuesday. He is scheduled to appear in Kenton County District Court on April 16.

According to the official police report on the incident, a group of juveniles inside the store were playing with a ball that almost hit Ormes’ child. Witnesses to the incident allege Ormes became angry and followed the juveniles, putting his hand on the 17-year-old male.

Store video of the incident given to police shows Ormes placing his hands in the area of the alleged victim’s neck, the police report says.

The alleged victim told police he was “unable to breath for a second but never passed out or felt lightheaded” during the incident, according to the police report.

An employee who said she saw the incident told police she saw Ormes put his hand around the teen’s neck.

Ormes is running against Bellevue businessman Terry Hatton in the May 21 Republican primary to replace retiring Rep. Rachel Roberts (D-Newport). The winner of the May 21 election will face Democrat Matt Lehman of Newport in the Nov. 5 general election.

According to reports from LINK’s media partner WCPO, Hatton called for Ormes to drop out of the race on Tuesday.

“He should consider dropping out of the race,” he said. “His actions last night, obviously, he has some personal issues that he needs to address before he can serve the public.”

The Campbell County Republican Party said it is aware of reports of an alleged incident involving Ormes “but do not know any of the details surrounding it, so we have no comment at this time.”

“However, we do firmly support Mr. Ormes’, and every American citizen’s, Constitutional right to due process and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law,” the statement says.

The group noted that it does not support or endorse any candidate in a contested primary race, and would back whichever candidate wins the primary.

“We trust the judgment of the Republican voters here in Campbell County and will support the candidates that they select on May 21st,” the statement reads.

Campbell County Democratic Party Chair Melissa Whalen called the situation “sad.”

“I don’t know how we devolved to this point,” she said.

Whalen said the arrest and Republican response was indicative of larger issues within American politics.

“Obviously, none of us are perfect,” she said, “but there’s a bottom line you should be able to cross.”

Democrat Lehman declined an interview and further comment writing, “Generally, I believe our elected representatives should respect their constituents and serve as responsible community leaders. This is what I intend to do if elected to represent Northern Campbell County in Frankfort.”

Court documents show Ormes posted bond on Tuesday. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 16.

LINK nky reached out to Ormes for comment but has not received a response.

This story is republished from LINK nky. LINK’s media partner WCPO contributed to this report.

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