The Pontotoc County District Attorney’s Office has filed two misdemeanor charges against a man who was videotaped Oct. 24 yelling at several Joe Biden supporters, and reportedly touched one of them.
The incident occurred beside a highway in Fittstown when a group of women holding pro-”Biden/Harris” signs were confronted by resident Rowdy Veal.
According to one of the people involved, Laura Pounders, she and two other women, Elizabeth Agee and Jill Agee, were holding signs in support of Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden and his vice-presidential running mate, Kamala Harris, while another woman, Shawn Hunley, took photos of them from inside a vehicle.
Pounders said a man drove by in a pickup and allegedly yelled at them. The man, later identified as Veal, then drove his pickup a short distance to his residence, got into bobtail semi tractor and drove to their location. Veal then reportedly set the semi’s horn to activate, exited the vehicle, and then began yelling at them while they held signs that read, “Honk for Biden/Harris.”
In the video, Veal said that they were on private property, and that they weren’t allowed to be there. Veal also said they were supporting a child molester, and abortion.
“You need Jesus in your life, lady,” Veal said in the video. “Yeah, you do.”
No physical altercation was visible on the video, however, Hunley told Deputy Clinton Smee that Veal made contact with her during the confrontation.
“(Hunley) stated that (Veal) immediately got in her face spitting and yelling for filming then moved on to Laura Pounders, Jill Agee, and her daughter Elizabeth before returning to her,” Smee said in a report. “(Hunley) stated that the man continued to come at her and push her shoulder while screaming in her face.”
Smee also spoke to Veal who reportedly said that he was taking out some garbage when he saw the supporters and drove down in a pickup to see what was going on.
“(Veal) stated he rolled down his window and noticed they also had masks and some eyes covered,” Smee said in a report. “(He) stated he saw someone inside of a vehicle and assumed it was a man with pink hair.”
Veal said that that is when he went back to get his semi and returned.
“(Veal) stated that before (returning), he put on his American flag patriotic clothes and exercised his freedoms by stating his views, just as they were,” Smee said. “(Veal) stated that he pulled up while laying on the horn, got out and approached each of them while asking ‘Do you know you support abortion?’ ‘Do you know you support a child pedophile?’”
Veal told Smee that he thought he was confronting men until he was close enough to see that they were women. He reportedly admitted to touching one of the supporters.
“(Veal) stated that he approached the one he assumed was a man with pink hair that was actually a woman and patted her on the right shoulder with an open hand stating, ‘She needed Jesus,’ ‘All of you need Jesus,’ and that their candidates needed Jesus,” Smee said.
The confrontation was short, and ended after a passerby, Michael Brown, stopped to “make sure the ladies were okay,” Smee said in the report.
Veal said he went to turn off his horn when the guy who pulled up (Brown) “fist-bumped” the women.
“Veal asked (Brown) if he was a Biden supporter,” Smee said. “(Veal) stated that the man said, ‘Yes I am.’ (Veal) then asked him if he knew he supported child pedophilia and abortion. (Veal said) the man then looked him in the eyes and shrugged his shoulders with no remorse.
“(Veal said) that the air in his semi had built up at that point and he realized he was fighting a losing battle and drove off. (He) stated he went down to there to be a voice for his community, the oil and gas workers, the construction workers, and even for officers because we all know Biden will be the end to all of this.”
On Tuesday, Veal was charged with outraging public decency and assault a battery, both misdemeanors. District Attorney Paul B. Smith issued a press release announcing the charges and describing what happened at the scene.
“... The touching was alleged to be unconsented and unwelcomed,” Smith said in the release. “A male bystander stepped in to help the women and reportedly shortly after Veal left the scene. While the right of free speech is cherished by all, it is not without limitations as to reasonable time, place and manner. Many of the actions demonstrated this election cycle in conjunction with free speech have demonstrated abuses of this deeply cherished right enshrined in the First Amendment.
“Unfortunately, these allegations of the reported conduct may be proven to fall into that category. The Defendant is presumed innocent of the charges against him until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”
According to the Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office, a misdemeanor arrest warrant for Veal was issued Tuesday with a $2,500 bond.