Unified Government commissioner in trouble, accused of assaulting LEGOLAND employee

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Unified Government commissioner is in trouble, accused of losing his temper and assaulting a manager at LEGOLAND.

On Saturday, Aug. 17, Kansas City police arrested Tarence Maddox, 30, at Crown Center and charged him with intentionally causing offensive contact and resisting arrest. Maddox is in his first term as county commissioner and represents District 4.

According to a police report, the incident stemmed from an argument about coupons and the price of admission at the family attraction. Witnesses told 41 Action News Maddox was at LEGOLAND with his wife and group of children for his son's birthday.

During the argument, the police report said Maddox knocked several items off the counter and damaged a pamphlet holder. He then pointed a finger in the manager's face and "forcefully chest bumped" him.

A LEGOLAND security camera captured the exchange. The police officer who took the report said the video corroborated the statement of the manager along with several other employees who witnessed the incident.

"He was yelling every curse word you could think of," one witness told 41 Action News. "It went on for about 10 to 15 minutes, and he seemed to just become more agitated because he wasn't getting his way. At one point, (Maddox) said, 'I am the government. Go ahead and call police.'  I saw one customer run from the area with his child because he was concerned about the situation getting out of hand."

The witness did not want his name used because he works at Crown Center and does not have permission from his employer to speak with media.

LEGOLAND employees, including the alleged victim, were also not authorized to speak with 41 Action News about the incident.

"It is not our policy to comment on any specific incident within the attraction," a spokeswoman said. "However, our policy is that we will not tolerate behavior that would disrespect or put at risk our guests or employees."

After Maddox and his family left LEGOLAND, they remained in the Crown Center shopping area. That is where a Kansas City police officer and several Crown Center security officers intervened.

According to the police report, Maddox would not stand up and place his hands behind his back after being told he was under arrest. The report said several officers tried to put him in handcuffs, but Maddox refused to stand and forcefully kept his arms at his side. The Kansas City police officer even threatened to use pepper spray if he did not follow commands.

A witness said he heard Maddox bring up his role as a county commissioner several times with officers.

A police wagon eventually arrived and took Maddox to headquarters for booking.

41 Action News requested the security camera video, but police said it is being kept in evidence storage until an Oct. 21 court date.

Reached by phone on Thursday, Maddox downplayed the incident and denied chest-bumping the LEGOLAND employee.

However, he said the employee made a "belittling" comment to his wife, which angered him.

"I could've turned around and left, but I wanted to let him know it was disrespectful," Maddox told 41 Action News. "I let him have a piece of my mind."

On Friday, Maddox declined multiple requests for an on-camera interview to respond to details in the police report, saying he was following the advice of his attorney and waiting until the situation is resolved.

Maddox recently worked at Northwest Middle School in the KCK district and runs a mentoring program for students called, "Books not B.A.A.R.S." The after-school program aims to keep kids out of jail through education and community achievement.


Ryan Kath can be reached at ryan.kath@kshb.com. You can also follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Facebook.

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