HUGO, Okla. (AP) -- Mayor James William Choat has been charged with obstructing an officer after police said he interfered with
efforts to arrest his 35-year-old son for driving with a suspended license.
Choat, 54, and his son Kevin William Choat appeared before Associate District Judge Don Ed Payne on Thursday and a pre-hearing
conference was set for May 22. Both men were released on their own recognizance.
Kevin Choat is charged with felony assault and battery on a police officer and malicious injury to property. The charge against the mayor is a misdemeanor.
Sgt. Kevin Martin said he attempted to arrest Kevin Choat about 1 a.m. Monday because Choat's license was suspended and a county
warrant was out for his arrest. He said he contacted Choat at his residence and told him he was under arrest for driving under
suspension. He said Choat ran from him.
Martin said that as he attempted to arrest Choat, Choat hit him in the chest with his fist. A struggle ensued. Police reports said that as Martin and Sheriff's Lt. Terry Park were attempting to handcuff Kevin Choat, his father came out of the house and began pulling Martin off his son. Martin said the mayor told him hev wasn't going to touch his son and that he could handle his son.
"Every time I tried to assist the other officer," Martin continued, "James Choat would push me back and state, 'You need to step back and let him handle Kevin."'
He said James Choat kept punching him in the chest.
Park said Kevin Choat told him he would let him put the handcuffs on, but not anyone else.
Police Chief Layton Cox said he stood behind the actions of the officers 110 percent.
Attempts to reach the mayor by telephone Thursday were not immediately successful.
In a separate case Thursday involving city officials, Park stopped City Manager Hollis E. Tinker Jr., seized his car tags and
impounded his vehicle.
Park said he received an anonymous call that Tinker was driving under suspension. He stopped Tinker, ran his license and found that
it was suspended and that the state Department of Public Safety had a request that his tags be seized.
Tinker was booked into the county jail and released on his own recognizance, Park said.
The stop occurred just before noon.