A Delaware state senator has been charged with offensive touching and disorderly conduct after police say he punched an acquaintance and threw a glass of water at a Talleyville restaurant Sunday evening.
Delaware State Police were called to Taverna Rustic Italian Restaurant on Silverside Road just before 6:30 p.m. for reports of a “domestic altercation.”
When troopers arrived, a 44-year-old woman said she and Sen. Darius Brown, D-Wilmington, were arguing about a social media post when he punched her. He then threw the water glass, which “broke into pieces,” police said.
Brown left the restaurant before troopers arrived. The woman “sustained some redness to the side of her face but did not require any medical attention,” police said.
Brown, a former Wilmington councilman, chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was elected to the General Assembly in 2018 as the District 2 senator.
Since then, he has been one of the Statehouse’s champions of criminal justice reform. In 2019, for example, he passed a bill that expanded the types of offenses that can be expunged after a certain amount of time.
In the spring of 2018, while he was running for the District 2 seat, Brown was hit with a federal tax lien for $50,803 in unpaid income taxes from 2012 through 2016. A month later, the Delaware Division of Revenue filed a complaint in Superior Court for $9,854 in unpaid taxes and penalties from 2014 through 2016.
“I have a tax liability,” Brown said at the time. “I have a payment arrangement to make a monthly payment. That’s what I do to satisfy my liability, which is no different than other people with the challenges they have.”
Brown declined to provide an explanation for how his taxes appeared to have gone unpaid for years.
“That’s a personal matter,” he said at the time. “I’m not forfeiting my responsibility. I pay it. I will pay it until the debt is satisfied.”
On Wednesday, Delaware Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Sokola addressed Brown’s arrest, saying accusations of domestic violence “are serious and in direct conflict with the values of the Delaware Senate Democratic Caucus.”
“However, a presumption of innocence is one of the most sacred principles in the American criminal justice system,” Sokola said. “I will carefully consider whether any formal actions are warranted in the coming days as we learn more about this incident.”
This is an excerpt from Delaware Online.
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