Hugh King, former Pensacola City Councilman, former pastor of Greater Union Baptist Church, former CMPA board trustee, former Democratic candidate and current pre-filed NPA candidate for Escambia County Commission, District 3, held a press conference on Monday night to tell the media that Democratic candidate Lumon May struck him first in an exchange that happened at Zion Hope Primitive Baptist Church.
King faces charges of battery for striking May at a forum held at Zion Hope that was to help children deal with the slaining of Trayvon Martin, a Sanford, Fla. teenager. Two witnesses saw King strike May. No one has come forward to collaborate King’s version of the exchange.
After King slapped him, May tried to get King, who smelled of alcohol, out of the gym away from the children. In the church hallway, May has said that King pulled a small handgun on him. May walked away and went back to the gym. No one else saw King pull out the gun, so there are no charges concerning it. At the Monday press conference, King denied carrying a gun.
However, there are two eye witnesses to King striking May. I was at Zion Hope that night covering the forum on the air with WRNE radio. May, WRNE owner Robert Hill, Movement for Change’s Jerry McIntosh and I were on the radio throughout the forum. I saw King wander into the gym towards the end of the event, but I didn’t see the exchange between King and May. I did see the pair leave the gym and both Hill and McIntosh, who I later learned saw King strike May, were concerned and commented on it as they walked by our table. Before I could get to the exit, May walked back into the gym. King followed a few minutes later.
Not knowing what happened, I grabbed King’s hand as he walked by and shook it. He was distracted, smelled of alcohol. It wasn’t until after we ended the broadcast on WRNE that May told me what had happened.
Hugh King has issues. I hope his family, friends and supporters help him get help before he hurts himself or someone else.
Lumon May has refused to talk with the media about the incident and seeks to protect his family. He’s willing to wait and let the court make its determination of the facts. While King was holding his press conference, May was coaching his son’s baseball team.