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Jun 1, 2013 2:08 AM by Tony Spehar - tspehar@koaa.com

Canon City residents and mayor respond to arrest of councilman

Michael Katchmar, a city council member in Canon City, was arrested on Thursday night for allegedly assaulting an elderly couple.

According to an arrest affidavit from the Canon City Police Department Katchmar was attending a wine tasting at a restaurant, Michael's on Main, when he got into a dispute with two other patrons. One of the alleged victims, 65-year-old Margene Martin, is said to have asked Katchmar what the city would do about mosquitos then he became angry and police say he bothered the couple throughout the night. The affidavit stated the Martin and her 70-year-old husband Robert left after Katchmar called them vulgar names.

The Martins told police that Katchmar, along with a local artist named Thomas Lockhart, followed them to their car and, after exchanging heated words, attacked them. In the affidavit Margene Martin is said to have hit her head on the sidewalk and fractured her hip after being shoved to the ground. Robert Martin had injuries to his face. Both were taken to an area hospital.

Katchmar and Lockhart were arrested by police on suspicion of first degree assault and crimes against at risk adults. They both told police that the Martins instigated all of the incidents and that they had both acted in self-defense during the fight that sent the Martins to the hospital.

The incident has, of course, raised concerns for Canon City residents.

"There's two sides to every story, but that's bad you know, I mean physical confrontation is never the answer never," said resident Diana Allen-Ide.

Canon City Mayor Tony Greer, who has worked with and been a friend to Katchmar for several years, said he couldn't believe the allegations.

"He's just generally not a person that would do something like this," Mayor Greer told News 5. "He has contributed tremendous amounts to our community."

Greer said he would wait until all the facts come out in court before making any judgments or taking any action with other city leaders.

"If he's found guilty then we'll probably take some sort of action, but it's never come up before so I'd be speaking out of turn if I spoke now," Greer said. "I don't even know what's possible."

Many Canon City residents had mixed opinions about whether Katchmar should continue to serve on the city council. Some said they were willing to wait until the case was worked out in court, but others said Katchmar should step-down.

"Somebody that's representing our city shouldn't be getting in altercations like that," said resident Marvin Sampson.

Katchmar was released on bond Friday morning; he is scheduled to be in court next Wednesday.

 

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