Senior citizens involved in brawl at Orange Co. polling location speak out

"I thought he was going to beat me to death."

That's what 83-year-old Vidor resident Kenneth Young says was going through his mind Tuesday. The man Young says was beating him, 70-year-old Orange resident Jerry Wilson, isn't denying it.

"I hit him with everything I could hit him with... Mr. Young, in my opinion, got just a little bit less than he deserved," Wilson told 12News Wednesday.

It all started Tuesday afternoon when Wilson, a candidate for the Orange County Republican Party Chair, paid a visit to the voting location at the Raymond Gould Community Center in Vidor. Wilson says he was here to check on his campaign signs when he says he noticed something was wrong.

"The set of signs that I had put out had been taken down and thrown to the side, and had been replaced by two homemade signs. One of the homemade signs he's referring to encourages people not to vote for Wilson, calling him a 'RINO', a republican in name only.

Wilson says after he noticed his signs were not where he left them, he approached Young, who was sitting about 100 feet from the entrance handing out pamphlets and encouraging people to vote for certain candidates, including Wilson's opponent.

Wilson claims, "I asked him, I said 'Kenneth are you taking my signs down?' and he said 'Yes, what are you gonna do about it?'"

"He is a big liar, I never said one word to him," said Young. "He fell on me, started punching me, hitting me in the face... and he was really throwing punches, hard."

"It was a fight, and I wasn't going to hold anything back," said Wilson.

A bystander eventually pulled Wilson off of Young and law enforcement officers arrived minutes later. Wilson was charged with misdemeanor assault and is awaiting his court hearing. Young was taken to a nearby clinic and treated for minor injuries.

Young says he never touched Wilson's signs, but he does admit to making and putting up the homemade sign that told people not to vote for Wilson.

Tuesday was hardly the first time the two had met, both men revealed that they've had a contentious relationship for the past 20 years. Just last week, Young wrote a letter to the editor in a Vidor newspaper, saying it would be devastating if Wilson were to be elected.

"Mr. Young and I are not friends. I'm certainly not going to apologize for (Tuesday's incident), but it happened," said Wilson.

"I don't want him coming back at me, I don't want him around me. But I will say, and he better get the word, that I will not take another beating like he gave me," said Young.


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