Hancock County

Bay councilman knocked to the ground in altercation with contractor

SH file photo: Bay St. Louis City Councilman Lonnie Falgout
SH file photo: Bay St. Louis City Councilman Lonnie Falgout wmuller@sunherald.com

Councilman Lonnie Falgout was knocked down during an altercation with a contractor Monday, both men involved confirmed. But the two have different versions of the events leading up to it.

The altercation took place near 21st Avenue and Swan Street, an area of Ward 6 that is home to boat houses, fishing camps and vacation homes.

Falgout said he and three other city officials went there Monday morning to examine some “shoddy” construction work by a contractor whom several residents have complained about.

The other officials were the city engineer, a city foreman and the city public works director, all of whom witnessed the incident, Falgout said.

The four men were on the side of the road when Keith Marquar, the contractor who did the work, pulled up in his truck and got out, both Falgout and Marquar said.

Marquar said he happened to be driving by when Falgout yelled at him and “threw his hands in the air.” He stopped his vehicle and as he got out, Falgout approached him until the two were nose to nose, Marquar said.

“He got up to my nose, so I shoved him and he fell back,” Marquar said. “I felt like he was going to swing on me.”

Falgout said he never approached nor touched Marquar.

The councilman said Marquar started yelling out of his truck’s window, threatening him.

“I didn’t even know who was in the truck,” Falgout said. “He started yelling, ‘I’m going to eff you up.’”

Falgout said Marquar who approached him until they were face to face.

“I never moved from the same spot I was standing in,” Falgout said. “I turned around, he approached me and got in my face.”

After the two exchanged words, Marquar stepped back as if he were leaving but “bull-rushed” Falgout and knocked him to the ground, the councilman said.

The councilman said the city engineer and the other officials came to his aid and told Marquar to leave.

“I’m 66 years old, and he’s what, 39?” Falgout said. “I don’t go around starting fights.”

Marquar, however, contends the councilman provoked the altercation.

“He threw his hands up in the air,” he said. “I just want him to leave me alone and get my name out of his mouth.”

The councilman said he has three witnesses who say otherwise.

“He got out the truck and confronted me,” Falgout said. “If you don’t want to confront somebody, you keep driving.”

Marquar filed a police report but has not filed any charges. Falgout said he is still considering whether to file charges.

If the councilman does pursue charges, state statute allows for an aggravated assault charge if the victim is 65 or older.

Wesley Muller: 228-896-2322, @WesleySMuller