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Poll Worker Bit Voter's Nose, Head-Butted Him

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on November 10, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

An Election Day dispute has sent one man to the hospital and another to jail. Police say a poll worker in Cleveland head-butted a voter and took a bite of his nose.

The argument began when poll worker James Williams tried to lay down the law -- telling a woman her campaign signs were too close to the polling place doors.

That's when bystander Greg Flanagan stepped in. "I told him he didn't have to be such an ass," Flanagan, 49, told The Plain Dealer.

Apparently, those were fighting words.

Williams, 53, grabbed Flanagan by the neck, head-butted him, and bit the man's nose. Witnesses, flabbergasted, called police.

The accused nose-biting poll worker must've smelled trouble. Williams got into his car and drove off -- only to turn himself in the next day.

Elections officials say Williams was technically correct about Ohio's election laws, which require campaign staff and signs to stay at least 100 feet away from polling place entrances.

But where Williams went wrong is what he allegedly did with his head -- and mouth.

Williams could face felonious assault charges in connection with the head-butt and nose bite. For Williams to be found guilty, prosecutors will need to prove that his actions were deliberate, and that they caused his victim to fear imminent contact.

Witnesses, and Flanagan himself, will likely testify to that.

Williams, a poll worker in eight past elections without incident, will not be rehired, the elections board says. He remains in jail awaiting his day in court.

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