UPDATE: Police report says council candidate attacked customer after perceived threat
Published 4:00 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023
A LaGrange City Council candidate was arrested Monday and charged with simple battery after grabbing a customer by the neck during a dispute, according to a LaGrange Police Department police report.
Terry Stanford, who is currently running for city council, was arrested Monday afternoon at his business, Stanford Automotive & Repair, located at 66 Youngs Mill Road in LaGrange.
The dispute took place when a customer was meeting with Stanford about his 2010 Camaro, which Stanford’s shop had worked on. He alleged that one of Stanford’s employees had damaged the vehicle, and he told police he’d seen that employee driving the vehicle on New Franklin Road when it was supposed to be in the shop.
The two were sitting in chairs a few feet away from one another. Per the police report, Stanford told the victim that he thought he was lying.
At that point, the customer said, “I’m a killer, not a liar. I did not go to prison for lying,” according to the police report. Stanford told police he felt threatened by this statement. The customer told LPD that he had no intention of harming Stanford.
The LPD reviewed video of the incident, which shows the two men talking. After the customer made the statement, Stanford allegedly grabbed the customer by the neck and pushed him against the wall.
When the victim made this statement, he was sitting in the chair, with his hands down in his lap, according to the police report. He did not reach for Stanford, he did not motion toward Stanford, and he did not raise his voice at Stanford when he made the statement. According to the police report, the video shows Stanford jump up out of his chair quickly, grab the customer by the neck and push his head and back into the wall.
Stanford then threw the customer down to the ground by his neck while yelling at him “You said you are a killer. Are you going to kill me?”
Stanford then got the man on the ground and pinned his right leg down. He then asked if he was reaching for a gun. The victim did not fight back during the entire incident, according to the police report.
The LDN called Stanford’s office at 12:18 p.m. on Tuesday. An unidentified employee, who would not give her name, said Stanford was not in at that time. The LDN left a phone number and had not received a call back by 4 p.m.
Stanford is running for city council District 1 against Jim Arrington.