This news outlet has reported previously on several incidents of violent behavior involving Greenville County, South Carolina councilman Rick Roberts. Most recently, we addressed Roberts’ issues in this post about his upcoming reelection campaign – referring to the incumbent as having a “history of anger management issues.”
Apparently the 47-year-old politician has a much more colorful history on that front than even we knew …
According to a recently obtained incident report from March of 2008, the future councilman was involved in a drunken scuffle with police officers outside of Connolly’s Irish Pub in Greenville, S.C.
The altercation – which resulted in police officers drawing their tasers – refers to “disorderly conduct,” “resisting arrest” and “interfering with police,” although there is no reference to such charges having been filed against Roberts on the public index of the S.C. thirteenth judicial circuit.
What happened? Good question …
Roberts received pre-trial intervention in May of 2018 in connection with a more recent altercation outside of another Upstate watering hole. In that case, Roberts was arrested after he allegedly struck the manager of the Saluda River Yacht Club in the hip with a metal pipe.
We criticized the decision by Upstate prosecutors to drop this charge, arguing it went against the wishes of Roberts’ alleged victim. Additionally, Roberts was accused at the time of violating the conditions of his bond – on multiple occasions.
Furthermore, in covering the outcome of the 2017 incident we noted that “multiple sources familiar with the situation (told) us Roberts may have been previously granted pretrial intervention related to an alleged incident a decade ago.”
Which means he should not have been allowed to receive pretrial intervention again …
Under pre-trial intervention (or diversion) programs, first-time non-violent offenders are allowed to do community service, undergo counseling and pay a fine in exchange for having a criminal charge removed from their record.
But was Roberts’ 2017 offense “non-violent?” And was he really a “first-time” offender?
The report we recently obtained is in reference to a disturbance that took place on March 15, 2008 at around 11:34 p.m. EDT,
At that time, Roberts and his second wife, Kimberly Cole Roberts, were both detained in connection with a melee that began inside the aforementioned Irish pub. According to the report, the incident began when an inebriated Roberts allegedly head-butted a bartender and yelled obscenities at him after being involved in a dispute with another patron.
At that point, things got rinteresting …
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According to the report, Kimberly Roberts grabbed an employee working at the bar by his hair and climbed on his back – prompting two bar employees to remove her and her husband from the premises.
Outside, an off-duty police officer detained and questioned both Rick and Kimberly Roberts about what had happened inside the bar. Both of them yelled at the officer, but he appeared inclined to let them go with a trespass notice (i.e. a written warning to stay away from the bar).
Roberts would not go gently into that good night, however …
He continued to berate the off-duty cop, according to the report, prompting the officer to call for backup from several uniformed officers of the Greenville, S.C. police department.
When these officers arrived on the scene, things got downright crazy.
According to the report, Roberts grabbed one of the officers and pushed him up against a police car – attempting to throw a punch at him while calling the cop a “little pussy.”
Roberts’ wife also “tried to interfere with the struggle” according to the report.
Eventually Roberts was wrestled to the ground by multiple officers and handcuffed, “the whole time yelling ‘pussy’ and ‘I will kill all of you.'”
As he was being walked to the patrol car, Roberts “continued kicking and screaming at us, and other patrons on the sidewalk.”
Here is the report …Rick-Roberts-2008-Report
Roberts’ antics didn’t stop once he was in handcuffs. According to police, he invoked the name of sheriff Johnny Mack Brown – his “golfing buddy” – as part of a torrent of threats directed at arresting officers.
“On the way to detention, the suspect continuously told me what he was going to sue everyone,” one of the officers noted. “He kept throwing names out, then went into telling me he was going to kick my ass, and was stating that he had face planted me into the ground. He continued saying this over and over until we got to detention.”
Eventually, Roberts “started complying,” according to the arresting officers.
“He apologized for the way he was acting and the things he said,” the report concluded. “He also apologized for fighting us.”
All is well that ends well, right? If you are connected, apparently …
The 2008 and 2017 incidents aren’t the only times Roberts has been accused of violent behavior. In a 2004 affidavit (.pdf) submitted by his first wife, Kathryn Roberts, in connection with their divorce, the future councilman was accused of physical abuse in his marriage – specifically “hitting, grabbing my face and pushing me around.”
In 2010, Roberts was accused of grabbing one of his neighbors by the shirt and pushing him onto the ground during an argument over loud music coming from a party. That encounter was documented in a 2010 incident report (.pdf) that is on file with the Greenville County, S.C. sheriff’s office.
Roberts is facing his 2016 opponent, Greenville businesswoman Stacy Kuper, in the 2020 GOP primary election for county council district 21. The district encompasses parts of the southern and eastern suburbs of downtown Greenville, S.C.
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