Add Alabama State Senator Tom Whatley to the list of “family values” Republicans arrested and charged with domestic violence.
Officers of the Auburn Police Department arrested the Senator on Tuesday night after officers responding to another call in the neighborhood heard what Whatley describes as “a discussion” with his fiance, Lindsay Waits, coming from the rear of his home.
Whatley was booked into the Lee County Jail where he was held for a mandatory 12 hours before being allowed to post $500 bail.
The police department declined to give any details, citing a policy of not discussing the specifics of a domestic violence arrest, but under Alabama law a person is subject to arrest on a domestic violence charge when:
“(a) A person commits domestic violence in the third degree if the person commits the crime of assault in the third degree pursuant to Section 13A-6-22; the crime of menacing pursuant to Section 13A-6-23; the crime of reckless endangerment pursuant to Section 13A-6-24; the crime of criminal coercion pursuant to Section 13A-6-25; or the crime of harassment pursuant to subsection (a) of Section 13A-11-8; and the victim is a current or former spouse, parent, child, any person with whom the defendant has a child in common, a present or former household member, or a person who has or had a dating or engagement relationship with the defendant. Domestic violence in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor, except the defendant shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of 48 hours in a city or county jail or detention facility without consideration of reduction in time for any second or subsequent conviction under this subsection.”
Whatley issued a statement on Wednesday:
“Unfortunately, I was arrested last night on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence. I would like to assure the citizens of Senate District 27 that I was not violent with my fiance, Lindsay Waits.
Tuesday Evening the police were in my neighborhood, apparently because of a report of a homeless person sleeping in the area. Lindsay and I were out on my back porch and were involved in a discussion, but we were not violent to one another. I love Lindsay and I would never be violent toward her.
We will now take this matter through the normal legal process until it is resolved.”
Waits issued a separate statement defending Whatley:
“As Tom Whatley’s fiance, I would like to state, very adamantly, that I did not call Auburn City Police with a report of domestic violence on Tom. Tuesday night we were involved in a discussion outside Tom’s house. Apparently, the police were nearby on another matter and heard use and came, even though neither of us nor any neighbors had requested assistance.
There was absolutely no violence involved by either party. I cannot state enough what a warm, loving relationship Tom and I enjoy. Neither would ever hurt the other and I consider this matter to have been a misunderstanding.
I will be proud when this issue is resolved so that we may move forward with our lives.”
Watch a news report from WSFA below.