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Dugger town council members get into altercation after meeting

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The Dugger Town Council held a special session on Thursday to discuss the possibility of a new patrol car for the Dugger Town Marshal’s Office.

During the end of the meeting, town council President Bill Pirtle was arguing with residents and Joe Smith, who has applied to run for a council seat in the town.

The council voted to end the meeting and council members Larry Bedwell and Sandy Stinson left the Dugger Town Hall. Bedwell was helping Stinson’s husband with getting her into her vehicle when Pirtle left the town hall.

All three council members admitted to an argument between Bedwell and Pirtle.

“We had adjourned the meeting and an issue came up with a couple of the citizens and Billy and they were getting into a loud argument,” Bedwell said. “And I left and helped Ralph (Stinson) get Sandi out to the car and was out there talking to them.”

“I didn’t really see what all took place,” Stinson said. “Larry was out there, he was helping … he was helping get me in the car and Billy came out there. That’s all I know.”

Bedwell said that after Pirtle came out of the town hall, he walked over to Bedwell and started arguing with him.

“Billy came out to the sidewalk to get to his truck and he was still mad,” Bedwell said. “He came up and immediately started punching me in the chest and said, ‘I can use some help out here out of you once in a while too.’”

Bedwell described that Pirtle was poking him with his finger while yelling.

“I asked him to please quit it and put my hands up,” Bedwell said. “… at that time he took both hands and shoved me out into the highway approximately two to three feet.”

Bedwell said there were no cars coming at that time. After that incident, Bedwell informed Pirtle he was filing charges and was alerting the police.

Pirtle claims he was helping Stinson during the altercation.

“I went out there with Sandy to help her out and Larry said something to me, I don’t exactly know …” Pirtle said.

After that statement, Pirtle declined further comment until he spoke with the police.

The Dugger Town Marshal Phil DeLaGarza was in attendance at the meeting and he called the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department about the incident, who then called the Indiana State Police.

Look for a future edition of the Times for more information about the meeting.


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