Video from a surveillance camera shows a fistfight between Gallup Mayor Harry Mendoza and Gallup Independent publisher Bob Zollinger on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2010.
Updated: Thursday, 04 Feb 2010, 5:27 PM MST
Published : Thursday, 04 Feb 2010, 4:52 PM MST
GALLUP, N.M. (KREZ-KRQE) - Gallup Mayor Harry Mendoza has been charged with one count of battery and one count of assault relating to a Jan. 6 fistfight between him and Gallup Independent publisher Bob Zollinger.
Deputy District Attorney Kirk Chavez, the special prosecutor in the case, said a summons has been issued for Mendoza to appear in a McKinley County courtroom on Feb. 22.
Both charges are misdemeanor charges.
"The wrong person was charged in this case," said Mendoza's attorney, Sam Bregman. "Mr. Zollinger is a bully who somehow thinks it is appropriate to attack a 78-year-old man. I look forward to cross-examining Mr. Zollinger in court."
Police reported at the time of the fight that both men claim the other started it. Mendoza told police that Zollinger started poking him in the chest hitting his pacemaker. Zollinger told police that Mendoza threw the first punch.
Police said the fight centered around a series of stories published in the Gallup Independent linking Mendoza to the gang rape of a 16-year old girl back in 1948.