PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Police in Detroit have issued a warrant requesting assault and battery charges be filed against Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner.
Wagner is back in Pittsburgh after being detained earlier this week by police at a Michigan hotel.
KDKA’s Andy Sheehan reports the warrant is being reviewed by the prosecutor in Wayne County, Mich., before any charges are filed.
Watch Wagner’s cell phone footage of the incident:
The prosecutor’s office released this statement Friday morning:
“…Received a warrant request in connection with an alleged altercation that occurred on March 6, 2019, at 12:17 a.m. at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel involving a Pittsburgh official. The matter is currently being reviewed. No further information will be released until a charging decision is made. The decision is not expected today.”
Detroit City Police Chief James Craig held a news conference Friday afternoon to detail the incident.
WATCH: Detroit Police News Conference —
Wagner’s attorney says Wagner was the victim in an altercation with police at a Detroit hotel Tuesday night but in the press conference, Craig told a different story.
“Clearly, there was problem and the Detroit Police Department responded and I can see now we responded appropriately,” he said.
According to Craig, a police officer responded to the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel on complaints of a disorderly, intoxicated man — later identified as Wagner’s husband, Khari Mosley — who was locked out of their room. Craig says the officer then took Mosley to the room and woke Wagner, who had been sleeping, when words were exchanged.
“There were several times where, I could see in the video, where she was placing her hands on the officers. Not in a very aggressive way, but she was kind of pushing and touching at least six or seven times. But that was not at the point when she was arrested,” Craig said.
Wanting to avoid an arrest, Craig said the officer decided to leave Mosley and Wagner together. But as they were leaving, Craig said, hotel security heard banging from the room and asked the officer to remove the couple. After handcuffing and beginning to escort Mosley, Craig said Wagner blocked the elevator door, defying the officer’s commands to step aside.
“She continues to stay there. At some point, she puts her hand on the officer and the officer takes the wife to the ground. You could hear in the video, ‘Be careful,’ it’s almost as if he was trying to break her fall. He did handcuff and she was arrested for assault and battery,” Craig said.
He maintains the officer handled the situation with restraint.
“We feel that the officer’s actions were appropriate, were measured, and were treated with professionalism given that both had level of intoxication. I don’t know that level but I know that was a contributing factor to the behavior that was demonstrated,” Craig said.
Wagner’s attorney says the situation was just a “misunderstanding.”
“She was arrested. Controller Wagner is a victim of a very large misunderstanding by some hotel security and Michigan Police,” Wagner’s attorney Heather Heidelbaugh said on Thursday.
According to Heidelbaugh, Wagner had gone to bed while her husband stayed in the lobby, but he discovered he had lost his room key card. Since he and Wagner have different last names, the hotel allegedly would not give Mosley another card.
Heidelbaugh says a police officer and a security guard brought Mosley to the room in handcuffs and told Wagner they both had to leave.
Craig says the officers handcuffed Mosley because they were concerned for his and their own safety.
Detroit Police say they have the body cam footage of the incident, but Chief Craig said during the news conference that he would not be releasing it at this time.
“We have an active criminal investigation. My team has taken a look at the video, and I’m certainly not going to play this case out in the public domain,” the chief said.
He also said Wagner indicated during the encounter that she was an official in her hometown.
“The way it was stated, I wouldn’t say it was to get out of trouble,” Chief Craig said. “But she did mention the fact that she was, as she indicated, the highest ranking member of that county.”