Haymarket officials accused of misdemeanors
© Virginia News GroupLast month on Haymarket Day, town Police Chief Jim Roop arrested vice mayor Jay Tobias and charged him with being drunk in public.
The next day, police also issued a no trespassing document against Tobias requested by the owner of Giuseppe's Italian Restaurant, valid for six months.
Meanwhile, Haymarket Mayor David Leake filed a criminal complaint against town planning commission chairman Bob Weir for publicly cursing at him in front of adults and children on Sept. 21, the day of the town's annual festival.
Weir and Tobias have court dates coming up Nov. 7.
They both are charged under the same section of Virginia code, 18.2-388, which states, "If any person profanely curses or swears or is intoxicated in public, whether such intoxication results from alcohol, narcotic drug or other intoxicant or drug of whatever nature, he shall be deemed guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor."
That carries a $250 fine.
However, there are distinctions between the cases.
While Roop arrested Tobias, police never arrested Weir; he was simply served with a court summons, which Weir picked up in person from Roop at the town police department.
Tobias never entered a jail cell and no one took his mug shot, Roop confirmed during a brief phone interview last week.
Instead, they filled out paperwork at the magistrate's office and Roop drove him home.
Though Tobias mentioned his penalty is "pre-payable," he did not say whether he planned to pay it or dispute the charge in court.
Weir said he intends to fight Leake in court, calling Leake's complaint "a work of historic fiction." Leake defeated Weir in the 2012 mayoral election.
Leake countered Weir's alleged word choice against him was so vulgar, he had problems writing it out for the court.
In the official complaint, the mayor accused Weir of telling him to "[expletive] off" and that Weir told Leake, "(You) can suck (my) left nut."
According to the incident report handwritten by Roop, part of the reason why the police chief decided to arrest Tobias is he already told the vice mayor to stay away from Giuseppe's that day.
Roop wrote that at about 7:50 p.m., he noticed Tobias's truck was in the parking lot of the restaurant, hours after "he had been taken home already for a domestic dispute."
According to Roop, Tobias had been drinking at the time.
The alleged dispute involved Tobias and council member Rebecca Bare's husband, Joseph Bare. Rebecca Bare confirmed in an email she was present too.
"It was a just a silly disagreement between Jay and Joe, friends and neighbors, and my involvement was simply trying to mediate," wrote the council member.
Tobias disagreed with Roop's assessment of the situation.
"The only things I can comment on at this time, is that the situation at (Giuseppe's) was certainly not a domestic dispute. I'm not sure why it would be classified as that," wrote Tobias in an Oct. 1 email. "There was a disagreement between two friends which elevated to a shouting match and some wrestling/jostling. It was on the porch ramp, not in the parking lot. This was not any kind of brawl or fight."
Bare deemed his description as "accurate."
Roop's report states that after he took Tobias home, he saw him "about an hour later sitting in Bob Weir's drive-way drinking another beer. When asked how his truck got from his house to Bob's, he stated that Bob had walked to his house and drove him."
Weir and Tobias both said they were in Weir's garage at the time, not the driveway. Bare joined them too.
"I believe it was inside the garage not the driveway," wrote the council member.
When Roop returned later to Giuseppe's, the police chief stated he "saw Jay drinking another beer," adding that he was unsteady of his feet, slurring his speech, and had bloodshot eyes.
"Having taken Jay home (one) time already he was placed under arrest for DIP [drunk in public]," Roop wrote in the report.
The police chief added that he then transported to the magistrate's office "where a Class 4 summons was issued for DIP."
Tobias was released the same night and he returned home.
In that regard, the stories between Tobias and Roop line up.
"Later that evening, I was issued a summons, which is pre-payable and the Chief was kind enough to drive me home," wrote the vice mayor.
Yet that wasn't the end of it for Tobias.
That Sunday, Giuseppe's owner Joe Russo formally barred Tobias from stepping foot on his property at 15120 Washington Street.
Approached in person at the front bar of Giuseppe's on Thursday and presented with a copy of the no trespassing document, Russo twice said "no comment" when asked about what led him to ban Tobias for six months.
When asked about the no trespassing request, Tobias replied, "I was not advised of any reason and have no comment other than I will respect the business owner's request."
If anyone could revel in a court fight as the defendant, it's Weir.
"It's going to be in court because I have no intention on pleading guilty to it and I have no intention of pre-paying it. We're going to go to court," said Weir during a phone interview on Oct. 1.
Weir last publicly confronted Leake during the Sept. 3 town council meeting. The prior month, Leake called the police on council member Milt Kenworthy for allegedly taking video of his wife dancing on the porch as a live band played.
Leake said he saw Kenworthy watching the video on his phone but, by the time a police officer arrived and checked the phone, the video was gone. The mayor filed no charges.
Kenworthy did not respond to an email last Thursday seeking comment about the incident.
However, Weir called out Leake about it Sept. 3, telling him, "If you're going to continue the pattern of behavior, please do me a favor. Put your big boy pants on and pick on somebody with an A-type personality.
"I would also suggest you not do it in a local watering hole because said A-type personalities and alcohol probably don't mix and you might get more than your feelings hurt. But if you're going to do it, please obtain at least a minimal grasp of the law before you make the complaint because you're not doing anybody any favors," Weir added.
This time around, Leake took Weir up on the challenge.
On Sept. 21, Bare mentioned to Leake she wanted to speak to him about an incident earlier on Haymarket Day.
Later, Leake saw Bare with Weir along Washington Street.
The mayor then went to talk to Bare. At some point, Weir interjected.
Aside from that, Weir, Leake and Bare offer different takes on what happened.
"Bob and I were on the sidewalk behind the vendors, I heard someone call my name from the street on the other side of the vendors and saw it was David," wrote Bare in an email. "I told David not now and kept walking and Bob told David that now was not a good time. David cut through a vendors booth approaching Bob and I and said to me: You wanted to talk to me about something earlier.
"Bob again told David now was not a good time. I said I would just talk to him, and started to approach David when David said to Bob that I was a big girl and that ... and Bob interrupted him and had words with David," she added.
Bare wrote she then "took a few steps away with David, and told him if you are talking about the supposed perimeter issue at the beer garden it has already been dealt with and was not an issue, he then said no that is not what he was talking about and started to ask me about Jay.
"I then told the Mayor there was a disagreement and to have a nice day, and continued on my way," Bare concluded.
During Bare's chat with Leake, the mayor reported Weir became "infuriated."
"He literally started screaming profanity," said Leake.
The mayor added there were "probably dozens of people who were within earshot of him saying and shouting this."
Reflecting back on the dialogue, Leake recalled he said, "'Bob, Rebecca can speak for herself.' ... That was the only conversation I had with Bob."
Leake said he planned to call witnesses for court.
"For example, I'll subpoena Rebecca," said Leake. "I know that there's others that I probably just need to get their exact name and address to subpoena as well."
Weir wouldn't talk about whether he cursed at Leake but denied everything else.
According to Weir, Leake was told to "politely go away and, no, they weren't screamed, and nothing but a dismissive tone" was used with him.
"I recollect what was said, yeah, but this is going to court. I'm not going to say anything that would somehow prejudice the case," said Weir.