GALVESTON — Newly elected District 1 City Councilman Tarris Woods has been accused of threatening a man inside City Hall.
According to a voluntary statement form filed with the Galveston Police Department, the alleged incident took place at 10:45 a.m. in the city secretary’s office.
Benjamin Matthew Hannon, 63, told police in the statement that he visited the city secretary’s office to obtain a copy of the city charter. At the same time he was there, Hannon said, Woods was in the office speaking to City Secretary Janelle Williams.
After Woods finished speaking to Williams, Hannon said that Woods walked toward him.
“Tarris walked to the doors that leads to the lobby of city hall and as he passed me he said, ‘You better stay off my property or I will kick your ass,’” Hannon wrote in the statement.
Hannon said that he interpreted the comment as a “terroristic threat.”
Police officials told The Daily News that they would investigate the complaint, but that no charges had been filed as of Wednesday.
Woods did not return multiple calls for comment about the incident on Wednesday.
Hannon has a public history with Woods, largely centered around protests about Woods’ residency in District 1. Hannon claims that Woods resides permanently in a house in District 5 and is ineligible to represent District 1.
Hannon said he was requesting the charter from the city specifically to review residency requirements. Hannon said he had also recently canvassed the Colony Park subdivision looking for residents who would testify that Woods lives in District 5.
Before Woods’ was sworn on June 30, Hannon spoke during the public comment portion of the City Council meetings.
“You have to live in District 1,” Hannon told the council. “I don’t understand what he doesn’t understand about that.”
No council members addressed Hannon’s claims during the meeting.
On Wednesday, Mayor Jim Yarbrough said he did not believe the complaint made about Woods would affect the council’s work, and added that the police department should be allowed to investigate the complaint before making any conclusions.
Addressing the other claims, about Woods’ residency, Yarbrough said the city had followed all its procedures to affirm that Woods was eligible to hold his seat.
“We felt that we’ve done our due diligence,” Yarbrough said.