Newport City Councilor and local contractor have altercation ove - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Newport City Councilor and local contractor have altercation over ladder

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By Mike LaCrosse

Rhode Island State Police are investigating some kind of scuffle between a Newport City Councilor and a local contractor.

City Councilor Michael Farley is claiming contractor Kevin Schiavone stole his ladder and on Monday he confronted him about it.
Schiavone is doing work on the house next to the councilor's house.  Councilor Farley says he had to defend himself against Schiavone.

Reporter question:  “Did he touch you at all?" 

“Absolutely, yeah, and that's why things escalated the way that it did - he hits like a girl,” answered Councilor Farley.

Schiavone denies touching the councilor and says he was borrowing what he thought was his client's ladder.  He says when he gave it back to Farley, he was attacked.

“He came at me with punches and I said I'm not gonna fight you.   I covered my face and I tried to get away and he grabbed my shirt threw me to the ground and kept pummeling me." 

Schiavone says he now has a bruised lip arm and hand.

The councilor says it was all in self-defense over what he considers an act of theft.

"Once he laid a hand on me I shoved him away from me with force, and he tumbled over the cobble stones in my driveway and landed face first on the ground."

Newport Police say they arrived to Hunter Ave. around 3:00 p.m. Monday.  They declined to give specifics saying the incident is under investigation, but did say no one was arrested, charged, or taken to the hospital.

The department asked the State Police to look into the matter to avoid any conflict of interest.

Reporter question: "As an elected official do you think you should have acted differently?”

"You know you get caught up in the moment…umm he's lucky I didn't do to him what I wanted to do to him," said Councilor Farley.

Schiavone says, "I hope everything works out for the better and this guy definitely needs to be punished."

State Police confirmed that they’ve been asked to step in, but it’s too early to comment since they just received the case on Wednesday.

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