Coleman’s charges stem from dispute with parent: newspaper

Kansas Rep. Aaron Coleman, 21, was charged Monday morning with domestic battery misdemeanor.

Although little information was immediately available in court and police records, a family member’s interview with the media and the scanner smuggling on the night of the arrest offers some additional detail on this. which led to the indictment against the first-year lawmaker.

Coleman – a Kansas City, Kansas Democrat with a history of suspected abusive behavior – was arrested Saturday night by Overland Park police.

Police did not say where the incident happened on Saturday. The scanner traffic captured by, however, was shown around 7:45 p.m., dispatchers said they received a “verbal” call to an address listed in public records as belonging to Coleman’s grandmother.

Dispatchers described the call as a “verbal” between the person who called 911 and an “unknown subject”. The caller, they said, said his phone was stolen and he recovered it. The appellant also indicated that there was a domestic conflict.

Coleman’s grandmother, Marsha Tomberlin, who is also listed as his treasurer, told the Topeka Capital-Journal that she saw Coleman and a male relative arguing over “religious beliefs” before Coleman claimed that the family member picked up his phone.

When reached by phone on Monday, Tomberlin told the Star she was busy and couldn’t speak at the time.

Tomberlin told the Capital-Journal that Coleman was the one who called 911 and the relative did not want to press charges, the newspaper reported.

“It was an incident and the newspaper blew it up,” Tomberlin told Capital-Journal. “He and (the family member) had a fight – that’s it.”

In a complaint filed against Coleman on Monday, the assistant district attorney said the victim in the case was either someone Coleman dated, a relative or a member of the household. Further details of the allegations were not immediately detailed in the court records provided.

Overland Park Police arrested Coleman at 8:15 p.m. Saturday. He was jailed at 12:45 a.m. on Sunday at Johnson County Jail, where he remained early Monday afternoon, jail records show.

Coleman was indicted on Monday with the misdemeanor by Johnson County District Court for allegedly “unlawfully, knowingly or recklessly” causing bodily harm or physical contact with someone on Saturday in “a rude, insulting or angry manner”, according to court records.

Coleman’s arraignment is set for 2:30 p.m. Monday. David Bell, one of Coleman’s attorneys, declined to comment ahead of the court hearing.

The criminal charge adds to a history of Coleman’s alleged abusive and inappropriate behavior. An ex-girlfriend has once accused Coleman of choking and slapping her, and he once admitted to using vengeful porn as a high school student.

Following his weekend arrest, parliamentary minority leader Tom Sawyer, a Democrat from Wichita, called on Coleman to step down and other lawmakers also said he was unfit to serve and should resign. Coleman, however, dismissed past resignation calls, even though he had previously apologized and vowed to do better.

A special legislative committee that investigated Coleman in January found he had engaged in abusive behavior towards women, but only issued an informal warning letter advising him to find a mentor, in part because lawmakers said the alleged conduct occurred before his election in November 2020.

It is not clear whether the Legislature will investigate Coleman again. To trigger an investigation, a legislator must file a formal complaint.

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Anna Spoerre covers the latest news for the Kansas City Star. Prior to joining The Star, she covered crime and the courts for the Des Moines Register. Spoerre graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she studied journalism.