by BRAD ROLLINS
Pct. 2 Commissioner Jeff Barton sustained a bloody lip Tuesday afternoon when his campaign manager threw a cell phone at him during an argument outside his Kyle office.
“This involves a good person who was dealing with some health issues and is now getting help,” Barton said.
A deputy constable who happened to be driving by on Front Street saw the immediate aftermath and called for backup. Five Hays County Sheriffs Office deputies and two ambulances responded to the call.
Barton described his injury as very minor and said he doesn’t think the harm was intentional; he is not pressing charges.
Kara Bishop, who was campaign manager for Barton’s successful primary challenge to County Judge Elizabeth Sumter, is on medical leave from Barton’s office where she worked as his assistant.
UPDATED 4/5/2010: Officer Zacharie Castilleja’s Kyle police department information report on the incident states:
“Officer Castilleja spoke to [Commissioner Jeff Barton] in reference to the assault. Jeff stated it was a misunderstanding and he did not want to pursue charges. Jeff stated he drove Kara to the JP2s office to meet up with her parents in order to discuss getting Kara some medical treatment at a mental health institution. Jeff stated Kara did not know that he had contacted her parents to help him. Jeff stated they were both sitting inside his vehicle when the incident occurred. Jeff stated he told Kara that her parents were on their way to help. Jeff stated Kara has been off her medication and needed mental health treatment. Jeff stated Kara had gotten upset and threw her phone and it hit him in the mouth and he began to bleed. Jeff state shed snapped out of her mode when she realized what she had done. Jeff stated a Hays County constable unit was in the area and assisted him. Jeff stated he went to the restroom to get cleaned up. Jeff stated Kara just needed treatment and that was all. Jeff was insistent with not filing any charges against Kara because he knew that she needed mental help. Jeff stated Kara and her parents agreed to take her to the San Antonio Mental Health Hospital for treatment.”
“Officer Castilleja spoke to Kara in reference to the incident. Kara stated she was upset about Jeff calling her parents to help him. Kara stated they were sitting in his vehicle at the time. Kara stated she was not thinking and just threw her cell phone. Kara stated she did not realize that the cell phone hit Jeff in the face. Kara stated she did not mean to hit him. Officer Castilleja observed Kara’s emotional and physical behavior. Officer Castilleja observed that Kara possibly needed Mental Health Evaluation. Kara’s parents were on the scene and assisted Jeff and Kara in reference to getting her evaluated. Kara stated she was willing to get help and voluntarily went with Jeff and her parents to a mental health hospital for evaluation.”
UPDATED 4/6/2010: Bishop released the following statement:
“Last Tuesday, Commissioner Barton and my family were trying to help me face some ongoing health and stress-related issues. I am embarrassed that my emotions caused me to act out, and I am sorry that I injured Jeff Barton, a good friend. Commissioner Barton, along with his wife Cyndy and their family, have been generous in their support during this difficult period in my life. During the next few weeks, my family and I ask that people continue to respect our privacy.”