Yakima Council Candidate Issues Statement After Confrontation
Yakima City Council District 1 Candidate Kenton Gartrell has issued a statement after he was criticized on social media for knocking a camera out of his face on a downtown sidewalk. Gartrell says he was at a local establishment on Election Night with friends when he says words were exchanged with other people at a nearby table. According to Gartrell things got out of hand and he was forced to leave. He says a woman filming with a cellphone followed him outside the restaurant. At one point, Gartrell admits he "slapped the phone" out of her hand. In a statement Gartrell says he shouldn't have taken that action and regrets it.
His statement reads:
I went out with several of my friends on Election Night to celebrate. We drank too much and things began to get out of hand, so I decided to leave. As I was leaving, a woman, who had made it clear she did not support me, followed me across the restaurant, out the door and onto the sidewalk, harassing and videotaping me. At one point, I stopped and turned around and she put her cell phone directly in my face while continuing to harass me. I reach out and slapped the phone from her hand.
I should not have done that and I regret it.
In spite of what this woman has claimed, I did not at any time make any negative comments to her or anyone else regarding their ethnicity or sexuality. Some unfortunate comments were made by other people at my table as well as by people sitting with the women and others, but nothing like that came from me. Once the exchanges became heated, I decided to leave.
KIT is attempting to reach the owner of the video and speak to the person to get a full picture of exactly what happened.