D.C. deputy mayor on leave after being charged with assault in Arlington

A D.C. deputy mayor has been placed on leave after he was charged with assault and battery in Arlington, Virginia, for his role in a parking lot confrontation over the weekend.

Christopher Geldart, the deputy mayor for public safety and justice, was part of an argument that briefly turned physical with another man around 12:30 p.m. Saturday outside of the Ballston-area Gold’s Gym, according to WRC-TV, the local NBC affiliate. The incident reportedly started after Mr. Geldart hit the car of the man’s girlfriend when opening his car door to put his daughter inside. 

The other man was Dustin Woodward, a trainer at the gym, who shared surveillance video with local Fox affiliate WTTG that shows him going to confront Mr. Geldart. The two are seen arguing chest to chest before Mr. Woodward says that Mr. Geldart put his hands on his throat. Mr. Woodward is then seen shoving Mr. Geldart away. 

A woman who reportedly is Mr. Geldart’s wife came to break up the incident shortly after. 

Mr. Woodward filed a criminal complaint with the Arlington magistrate’s office on Monday. WRC reported that an arrest warrant for assault was issued and that Mr. Geldart turned himself in and was released pending a preliminary hearing. 

“He’s way too big to be trying to be a bully, especially with his position. Something should be done. It’s not OK,” Mr. Woodward told WTTG. “We’ve been dealing with him for a while at Gold’s. Multiple locations actually, that’s how we even figured out who he was. So, something needs to be done because you can’t just abuse your power like that.” 

Mr. Geldart is on personal leave until the investigation into the incident is completed, Mayor Muriel Bowser said. 

“Unfortunately, it sounds like something that happens to a lot of people — a dispute over something minor — and we hope it is resolved quickly,” the mayor’s office said in a statement after reviewing the video.

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