Former Sedgwick County commissioner arrested for assaulting officer

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A former Sedgwick County commissioner and city councilman has been arrested for assault on a law enforcement officer. 

Booking records show James Skelton was arrested early Tuesday for assault on a law enforcement officer and obstruction, both misdemeanors. The alleged incident happened at the QuikTrip at Douglas and Washington.

"It was wrong," Skelton said. "I was wrongly arrested."

Police say someone flagged down nearby officers after seeing a man yell and swear at clerks, demanding a ride. 

"Skelton was belligerent with the officer as well," Officer Charley Davidson said. "The officer offered multiple times to provide assistance in calling a cab for Skelton, who was wanting a ride home. Skelton refused and demanded a ride from the officer. Skelton became visibly angry during the interaction, approached the officer and the officer had to push Skelton away from him."

The 50-year-old told KAKE's Lily Wu that he was wrongfully arrested. He said got separated from his family after Monday night's Metallica concert, which ended shortly before midnight. He said he had no jacket, no money and was without a working phone.

Skelton said an off-duty officer dropped him off at the Old Town QuikTrip so he could stay warm and arrange for a ride home. 

"It was very confusing, 'cause I couldn't believe they wouldn't even call me a ride or an Uber," he said. "I explained my situation. I had no coat on; I was already freezing."

Police are reviewing video from the store cameras as well as those on the officers. The police report says alcohol was suspect in this incident.

Skelton served on the Wichita City Council from 2005 to 2010 and on the county commission from 2011 to 2015. He was an independent candidate for District 5 in 2018 but lost to James Howell.

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