Eastover, SC, mayor arrested for assault and battery after brawl at community event

The mayor of Eastover was arrested Friday following a brawl at a community event, the Richland County Sheriff’s Deaprtment has said.

Mayor Phillip Gunter was taken into custody Friday, two weeks after deputies responded to 911 calls of a fight in progress. Gunter was found to have instigated the attack, which injured an unnamed man.

The mayor of the town of 614 people, which sits in the southeast corner of Richland County near the Congaree National Park, turned himself in to deputies Friday. He was charged with assault and battery in the second degree.

Deputies say when they responded to the scene on May 5, the disturbance had ended and neither Gunter nor the victim were at the scene. The victim then called 911 from another location to report that he was involved in a fight with Gunter.

After interviewing Gunter, witnesses and the victim over the course of two weeks, deputies said they concluded that Gunter that the two were known to each other and were involved in what the sheriff’s department called a “personal dispute” that turned to violence when Gunter instigated the assault.

A statement released by the sheriff’s department described Gunter as having cooperated with the investigation. The mayor turned himself in when a warrant was issued for his arrest, deputies said.

Gunter was booked at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. WLTX has reported that he was granted a $7,500 surety bond.

On his social media pages, Gunter describes himself as the owner of the PLR Convenience Store and P-Fashion, a beauty supply business, located in downtown Eastover.

This is a breaking news story. Check back here for updates.

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