A Loudoun County supervisor who withdrew from this year’s race for board chairman after admitting a history of drunken driving and domestic disputes was accused in one of those cases of brutally attacking his then-girlfriend.
The 2006 charges against Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run), who has said he plans to serve out his term on the county board, were dismissed later that year. But a newly obtained police statement provides a graphic account of an incident in which Williams is alleged to have badly beaten the woman in his grandmother’s Ocean City condominium.
When asked about the details this week, Williams issued a statement acknowledging the incident, apologizing and offering “no excuse for the actions that took place.” In an interview late Thursday, he also said he would speak with board colleagues, and if they urged him to resign, he would consider it.
According to the police report, the incident began in the early morning of Feb. 3, 2006, while Williams, who was 34 at the time, and his girlfriend were vacationing at his grandmother’s condo. The woman told police that Williams, after becoming suspicious when another man called her cellphone, chased her through the home, grabbed her hair, struck her repeatedly and pushed her into closet doors with such force that they broke.
The woman, according to the police report, was left bruised and cut from the top of her head to her knees. Williams’s mug shot, taken later that morning, also shows a scratch on his face.
The woman fled the condo with her dog, barefoot and in her pajamas despite cold rain, and called police from a nearby Denny’s restaurant, according to the report.
“With every fiber of my being I wish this incident had not occurred and can’t begin to relay the guilt I harbor,” Williams, now 43, said in a statement. “This was an extremely low point in my life full of grief, anger and binge blackout drinking. As a result of this incident I sought out and received treatment for alcohol abuse and symptoms related to a personality disorder.”
Williams, whose official government Web page lists him as the federal counsel for Sprint, said he met his wife, Joy, about a year after the incident, after undergoing anger-management treatment and rediscovering religion. None of the friends and acquaintances he has made in the political world, he said, was aware of the details of what happened in 2006.
“All I can pray is that my family and I can weather this storm that has come about as a result of my prior behavior and willingness to serve the Loudoun community,” he said. “I have managed my professional and public service with the highest of integrity and ethical standards. . . . It is with a heavy heart and deep regret I send this note and I apologize for disappointing my family, friends and community.”
Williams said he does not believe his past actions have any bearing on his performance in office. Thus far only the chairwoman of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee, Valerie Suzdak, has demanded his resignation, saying that “violence against women has no place in our society.”
The new details about the nine-year-old charges emerged two weeks after Williams withdrew from the race for board chairman amid revelations that he had an extensive record of legal troubles, including multiple DUI arrests and domestic disputes at his home.
Loudoun County police visited Williams’s house twice in 2013 for alleged domestic incidents and once for a dispute with a neighbor. Williams has acknowledged those episodes, though not how recently they occurred. No charges were filed in any of those cases.
“Joy and I have had our share of ups and downs in seven years of marriage,” he said last month. “I would not be in office if it were not for her enthusiastic support.”
Williams has accused Leesburg lawyer Charlie King, another candidate for board chairman, of revealing his arrest record as part of an inappropriate “whispering campaign.”
King has not commented on those allegations. “He’s dropped out of the race for chairman. He’s serving out his term. He will soon be off the board and a private citizen,” King said of Williams.
Williams’s term on the Board of Supervisors, which began in 2012, expires in January.
With his withdrawal from the chairman’s race, King is the only Republican candidate seeking the seat of retiring chairman Scott K. York. Democrat Phyllis Randall, a member of Virginia’s Fair Housing Board and vice chairman of the state Board of Corrections, also is running in the November election.
In the 2006 incident in Ocean City, Williams was charged with one count of first-degree assault and one count of second-degree assault. Both charges were dismissed later the same year, but it’s not clear why.
The alleged victim, reached by telephone, declined to comment on the case. Prosecutors in Worcester County, Md., said they no longer had any documentation explaining why the case was dropped. A spokesman for the Ocean City Police Department said no further information was available.
The police report is filled with details of the alleged assault. According Richard S. Wawrzeniak, the police officer who wrote the report, the woman told him that Williams threatened to throw her from the condo’s balcony.
The report also describes Williams’s encounter with police that morning, during which he admitted that he had confronted his girlfriend about the phone call, asking her, “Who the f--- is calling?”
Williams told police that an argument began, and “there was some pushing,” according to the report.
“I felt that Williams was deliberately attempting to leave out certain specific details of the events that occurred,” Wawrzeniak wrote. “When Williams stated, ‘There was some pushing,’ I believed that he was attempting to distance himself from responsibility for [the victim’s] injuries.”
In the report, the victim’s name has been redacted.
Dan Morse contributed to this report.