Aaron Coleman 'extremely erratic' during arrest, allegedly hit brother, according to affidavits

Andrew Bahl
Topeka Capital-Journal
State Rep. Aaron Coleman allegedly hit his brother in the chest and spit on him in a domestic dispute last month, according to police documents released Tuesday.

State Rep. Aaron Coleman allegedly hit his brother in the chest and spit on him in a domestic dispute last month, according to police documents released Tuesday.

The Kansas City, Kan. Democrat was arrested last month and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery stemming from an apparent argument with his brother at his grandparents' Overland Park home.

Coleman pleaded not guilty to the charge during his initial appearance earlier this month via his attorney, David Bell, though Coleman didn't physically appear during the hearing. Bell didn't immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.

Sworn affidavits released Tuesday to media outlets, including The Capital-Journal, said officers believed Coleman's behavior to be "extremely erratic and would fluctuate easily," with the lawmaker telling police he hadn't slept in 72 hours.

A court ordered Coleman undergo a mental health evaluation as a condition of his release. Coleman's lawyer said during the initial appearance that his family "are going to seek help for Mr. Coleman and some of the issues he is facing."

More:Dispute between Rep. Aaron Coleman, brother led to arrest, grandmother says. Family will seek help.

Sgt. Matthew Bregel, of the Overland Park Police Department, said in the affidavit that officers were dispatched in response to a dispute between Coleman and his brother, which stemmed from an argument that began earlier in the day and continued into the afternoon in Overland Park. 

"Aaron had tried to 'shame' Al.C (Coleman's brother) because Al.C was going to get baptized," the affidavit said. "During the argument, Aaron pushed Al.C backward and hit him (in) the chest before spitting on him."

Coleman's grandfather was also interviewed by officers after witnessing the incident, saying his grandson had threatened to "kick his ass" before kicking over furniture. 

At that time, officers placed Coleman under arrest and said he was "uncooperative with officers" and "refused to identify himself."

Coleman said he complained of pain and had to be cleared at a local emergency room before being transported to the Johnson County Jail.

Previously:Kansas Rep. Aaron Coleman arrested on domestic violence allegations in Johnson County

Coleman set to appear in court next month 

The matter could be handled via diversion or a set agreement between Coleman and prosecutors that would see charges dismissed after a year of the 21-year-old legislator meeting a series of specified conditions. That option will be discussed at Coleman's next hearing on Dec. 22.

Both Coleman's brother and his grandfather spoke during the hearing, saying they were comfortable having contact with Coleman. His grandmother told The Capital-Journal at the time that she believed the matter was being blown out of proportion.

But House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita, called on Coleman to resign after news of his arrest broke.

"His constituents and the State of Kansas would be better served if he were to resign and get the help he badly needs," Sawyer said in a statement. "However, I want to reiterate again that the House Democratic Caucus does not condone this behavior in any way, shape, or form."

Previously:Rep. Aaron Coleman banned from KDOL premises after ‘disruptive, intimidating and berating’ behavior

Coleman was reprimanded but not formally disciplined last session by a Kansas House committee for behavior prior to his election as a legislator, including allegations of harassment, bullying and stalking. The panel dismissed charges on the grounds that the actions took place before the first-term lawmaker assumed office.

It is possible attempts will again be made to remove Coleman from office, though that is not a straightforward process. A legislator would need to file a formal complaint, with the speaker of the Kansas House then charged with convening a committee to investigate the matter at hand.

Andrew Bahl is a senior statehouse reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. He can be reached at abahl@gannett.com or by phone at 443-979-6100.