Commission candidate Palmer accused of threat

Augusta Commission District 1 candidate James “Butch” Palmer, an outspoken activist against crime in his neighborhood, has been accused of committing a crime in Harrisburg himself.

According to a Richmond County Sheriff’s Office incident report, Elliott Davis, 37, said Mr. Palmer pointed a Remington 1100 shotgun at him last week as he rode past his house on the 500 block of Tuttle Street, then called him “boy” and threatened to shoot him. Mr. Davis said Mr. Palmer was angry because he had the music turned up loud on his SUV’s stereo.

On Monday Mr. Davis filled out paperwork to pursue a warrant against Mr. Palmer, and a hearing has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 6 in Magistrate Court, which will be three days after the election.

Mr. Davis is seeking a charge of pointing a gun at another, a misdemeanor, and a judge will hear both sides of the story and decide whether there’s probable cause for an arrest warrant.

Efforts to reach Mr. Palmer late Tuesday resulted in a missed call.

In a telephone interview with The Chronicle, Mr. Davis said he lives on the 600 block of Eve Street and was recently laid off from Macuch Steel Products Inc. He said he does not live at 609 Eve St., the illegal boardinghouse targeted as a “nuisance” by a bullhorn-wielding Mr. Palmer and other activists during their Fourth of July march against absentee landlords, but he knows some of the tenants there.

Mr. Davis said he was visiting a friend on Hicks Street the evening of Sept. 24, then made a trip to a convenience store, driving with Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” cranked up on the stereo. He said when he passed Mr. Palmer’s house the first time, he heard him yelling at him.

When he went by again on his way back, he said he saw Mr. Palmer standing on his front porch aiming the gun at him. Bothered, he said, he turned around at the end of the street and went back. He pulled up in front of Mr. Palmer’s house and, sitting in his truck, asked him why he was pointing a gun at him.

Mr. Davis said Mr. Palmer walked to the end of his walkway, stood behind his gate and, with the gun still trained on him, said, “Turn that music down, boy, before I shoot you.” Mr. Davis said he then summoned police with his cell phone.

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