Affidavit: Kansas lawmaker hit brother in fight over baptism

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Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 2:16 PM CST
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MISSION, Kan. (AP) — A 21-year-old Kansas lawmaker pushed, hit and spit on his 18-year-old brother in a fight that erupted because the brother was going to get baptized, according to court documents released Tuesday in a pending domestic battery case.

An Overland Park police sergeant wrote in the probable cause affidavit that freshman Democratic state Rep. Aaron Coleman of Kansas City also was “uncooperative” with police and “extremely erratic” after the Oct. 30 fight.

Coleman, who has acknowledged past abuses against girls and young women, took a temporary “leave of absence” earlier this month following a Johnson County district judge’s order that he undergo a mental health evaluation. Coleman said in a tweet that he was required “to admit myself to a mental health facility.”

The brother, identified in previously released police report as 18-year-old Allen Coleman, told officers that Aaron Coleman had tried to “shame” him because of his upcoming baptism. The affidavit did not elaborate on the lawmaker’s religious beliefs. The brother said they had argued throughout the day, and that it turned physical when they arrived at the home of their grandfather, Robert Tomberlin.

Tomberlin, who witnessed the melee, said Aaron Coleman threated him before kicking over a box fan and flipping over a living room chair, according to the affidavit.

The sergeant wrote in the affidavit that Aaron Coleman refused to identify himself to police, complained of pain and had to be cleared at a local emergency room. Officers said he would “fluctuate easily” and told them that he had not slept in 72 hours, the affidavit said.

Coleman hasn’t responded to a text message from The Associated Press and his attorney, David Bell, said Tuesday that he couldn’t comment. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 22.

After he was elected last year, Coleman received a written reprimand from a legislative committee about his conduct before taking office. The House committee’s investigation of Coleman followed accusations of abusive behavior toward girls and young women. He acknowledged some of the behavior on social media and said he had been a troubled teenager.

Last month, Coleman was also banned from the Kansas Department of Labor’s offices because the agency’s director said Coleman had tried to improperly gain entry to the department’s main office through a secured employee entry and berated a security officer.

At that time, Coleman said he was trying to help constituents deal with the state’s unemployment system.

It wasn’t immediately clear what consequences Coleman might face in the House.

House Democratic Leader Tom Sawyer previously issued a statement urging Coleman to resign. His spokeswoman, Alexis Simmons, said Tuesday that the office had seen the affidavit, but is still examining it, so it has no comment at this time.

Coleman was the only Democrat to sign a petition in favor of a Thanksgiving-week special session of the Kansas Legislature to consider financially protecting workers who refuse to comply with federal vaccine mandates.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.