Orange Beach Mayor Tony Kennon says neither he or his wife were intoxicated during an incident at the Flora-Bama early April 28 during the annual Mullet Toss at the iconic beach bar.
No charges were filed but it was noted in a report by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office that “due to all parties being intoxicated and no independent witness that observed the entire incident, no arrest was made and all parties were removed from the premises and sent in separate directions.”
The report listed Kennon as a suspect in a battery with 26-year-old Shaun Fields of Mobile listed as the victim. Paula Kennon was listed as a witness on the report.
Kennon remained steadfast he was not drunk and said the incident wasn’t worth talking about nearly 12 days later in an interview at his office with Lagniappe.
“Anybody can make an accusation and it’s a shame that the media would try to portray it as fact or if I am the person that is being portrayed by these accusations,” Kennon said. “For those reasons, I’m not going to give the so-called incident the time of day. I’m not going to address it. It’s a waste of my time.”
In a formal statement released during the interview Kennon also said if he or his family were ever endangered, he would not hesitate to take action.
“I consider myself a Christian man,” Kennon’s statement reads. “I’m not a very good Christian man. I turn the other cheek when I can but you mess with family, you threaten my wife, my child, myself I’m going to deal you, I’m going to deal with you immediately and swiftly in whatever manner I need to deal with to eliminate the threat. That is just who I am. I may be a relic. That may be old-school but that’s who I am and I’m not going to change.”
In the April 28 incident, the reporting deputy said Fields told him he saw Kennon and his wife at the Flora-Bama and thought she was being threatened by him.
“Upon arrival, I made contact with the victim, identified as Shaun Fields, who was bleeding from the nose,” the report states. “Fields stated under oath that he had seen a man he knew to be the mayor of Orange Beach, Alabama, punching a wall by the mayor’s wife’s, … head. Fields stated when he stood up for Paula Kennon, [Tony] Kennon hit him in the nose and an individual broke them up; at which time, they were broken up by security and escorted out of the building.”
Both Kennons agreed in their statements they were having a verbal argument, but both also say the mayor was acting in self-defense.
“Fields approached him and began screaming ‘Hey mayor, hey mayor!’” the report states. “(Tony) Kennon stated he told Fields to leave him alone; at which time, Fields attempted to step into his face. (Tony) Kennon stated he pushed Fields’ upper torso in self-defense because he believed Fields was attempting to start a fight. (Tony) Kennon stated he did not punch Fields, but his hand may have accidentally deflected attempting to push Fields and may have accidentally gone towards his face.”
Paula Kennon’s account in the report was much the same as Tony Kennon’s and she too stated he acted in self-defense.
As they were leaving and walking west on State Route 182 to meet their ride, Kennon said, a man he identified as Fields approached him and his wife several times shouting obscenities and threatening court action. Paula Kennon shot video of the man’s actions and it was shown to the Lagniappe during the May 10 interview.
Below is more of the mayor’s formal statement:
“For 15 years my wife and I have had a date night every Saturday night like clockwork,” Kennon said. “We’re a resort conference town. We have events four or five nights a week, most of them alcohol-related and my wife and go to as many as we possibly can. No other mayor is out there in the community as much as I am. … I’m not going to let this type of event keep me from going and doing and having a date night and going where I want to go. And, if I want to have a drink and dance, I’m going to have a drink and dance. I’m not going to be painted in a box because I’m mayor. I don’t care if I’m the mayor or the president of the United States, you mess with my family, I’m going to take action immediately. Deal with it. That is just who I am. I absolutely make no apologies, no mea culpas, no backpedaling like a spineless politician.”
Kennon also addressed Orange Beach citizens. He is up for reelection in August of 2020.
“The people of Orange Beach, if I’ve embarrassed them and they want somebody different, they can vote me out of office and I’ll go clean my garage,” Kennon said. “If they want somebody that’s got old-time values and will stand up to protect his family, protect the kids in this community and stand up and fight for this community, then I’ll keep doing that. It’s totally up to them.”
Lagniappe reached out to Fields on May 11 but as of this posting of the story had not responded.
Below is the entire narrative filed by the Escambia County deputy sheriff:
On 4/28/19, while working extra duty employment at the Flora-Bama Lounge and Package, I was notified of a fight inside. Upon arrival, I made contact with the victim, identified as V/Shaun Fields, who was bleeding from the nose. V/Fields stated under oath that he had seen a man he knew to be the mayor of Orange Beach, Alabama, punching a wall by the mayor’s wife’s, identified as W/Paula Kennon, head. V/Fields stated when he stood up for W/Paula Kennon, S/Anthony Kennon hit him in the nose and an individual broke them up; at which time, they were broken up by security and escorted out of the building.
I then made contact with S/Anthony Kennon, who stated he and his wife, W/Paula Kennon, were having a verbal argument when V/Fields approached him and began screaming “Hey mayor, hey mayor!” S/Anthony Kennon stated he told V/Fields to leave him alone; at which time, V/Fields attempted to step into his face. S/Anthony Kennon stated he pushed V/Fields’ upper torso in self defense because he believed V/Fields was attempting to start a fight. S/Anthony Kennon stated he did not punch V/Fields, but his hand may have accidentally deflected attempting to push V/Fields and may have accidentally gone towards his face.
I then made contact with W/Paula Kennon, who stated her and her husband, S/Anthony Kennon, were having a verbal argument when V/Fields approached him stating “Hey mayor, hey mayor.” W/Paula Kennon stated S/Anthony Kennon told V/Fields to leave; at which time, V/Fields approached S/Anthony Kennon again and she observed S/Anthony Kennon push V/Fields backwards in self defense.
Due to all parties being intoxicated and no independent witness that observed the entire incident, no arrest was made and all parties were removed from the premises and sent in separate directions. V/Fields was provided a business card containing the case number as well as a Victim’s Constitutional Rights Brochure.
There is no known video evidence of this incident.
Time spent on investigation: 30 minutes.
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