NORTH BRADDOCK, Pa. (KDKA) – For the first time since his arrest for aggravated assault, North Braddock’s Democratic candidate for mayor was back before borough council.
Cletus Lee said on Tuesday he wanted everyone to know he was moving forward with his mayoral bid. Lee faces two counts each of aggravated assault, common assault and harassment for his role in a fight last week near his home.
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A woman involved in the fight told KDKA that Lee was trying to protect her. She describes the charges against him as deliberate sabotage of his mayoral campaign.
“He would be the first African-American mayor in 146 years,” said Duprene Johnson, who was injured in the alleged assault. “So they wouldn’t accept my statement. All he did was protect me.
Investigators say they had to end a disruption involving Lee and three women. Johnson said one of the women, a former girlfriend, believed she was involved with Lee.
Johnson said then the woman chased her.
“At first she tried to massage me and Cletus got in the middle of it. And she macerated it and hit it for trying to protect me, ”Johnson said.
She said she was also punched in the head by the woman.
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“I blocked the first punch and it connected with the second time on my ear,” Johnson said.
Johnson, who is a singer and performer, said the blow severed two parts of her eardrum and left her with partial hearing loss.
Police say Lee entered and walked out with a baseball bat, and court documents say Lee punched a woman and her daughter.
“The mayor-elect really went above and beyond to save me. I could have been really, really hurt. And I think the accusations are ridiculous, ”Johnson said.
The police chief and no one in the district council are said to be speaking about the charges on Tuesday. The departmental police are investigating.
Lee has his preliminary hearing on July 27.
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Meanwhile, current mayor Albert Senic will face Lee in the November election as a Republican candidate.