NEW BRITAIN - The fate of former mayoral candidate Alfred Mayo, who is accused of assaulting Mayor Erin Stewart in 2015, is in the hands of the jury.
During closing arguments Friday morning, Mayo told the six-member jury that he officially filed that morning to seek election to the 25th District state representative seat currently held by Robert Sanchez. Mayo represented himself in the trial, which ended Thursday.
Mayo said he would leave his name on the November ballot even if he were found guilty of the charges and was serving jail time.
“My goal is to help the people, that’s what I’ve always done,” the 60-year-old New Britain resident said. “I can bring a lot to the table with my experience in court.”
Mayo was arrested in July 2015 after witnesses reported to police that he grabbed Stewart as she was telling him to leave a children’s event in Walnut Hill Park. Mayo showed up at the Mayor’s Pencil Hunt, an annual event celebrating the end of the city’s Parks and Recreation camping season, on a bicycle with a campaign sign and began handing out business cards to the children attending the event, said witnesses who testified at the trial.
Stewart, who testified for the prosecution, and Republican Town Committee Chairman Tony Cane, who was subpoenaed by Mayo to testify, both told the jury that Mayo used profanity when he was told to stop campaigning and leave the park.
Stewart said Mayo grabbed her arm at the wrist as she was gesturing for him to go. He was charged with third-degree assault and second-degree breach of peace. He could serve a maximum of 18 months if convicted of both misdemeanor charges.
Mayo subpoenaed 13 witnesses to testify, including police officers and others who were not at the park when the incident occurred. The jury began deliberating at around 12 p.m. Friday. They ended the day without a verdict. The jury will continue deliberating Monday, court staff said.
“I’m confident they listened and tried to understand what I said,” Mayo said of the jury. “I was the only African-American in the courtroom. I felt like I was in the movie ‘To Kill A Mockingbird.’”
Mayo insisted Friday afternoon that he did not his hands on Stewart. “I never touched her,” Mayo said. “My hands never left my side, they were raised up over my head holding my campaign sign.”
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.