Kansas lawmaker arrested on domestic violence charge

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — A first-year Kansas lawmaker, who was reprimanded by his colleagues for abusive conduct before taking office, has been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.

Democratic state Rep. Aaron Coleman of Kansas City remained in custody Sunday afternoon, according to Johnson County Jail records. The 21-year-old was arrested at 8:15 p.m. Saturday by Overland Park police on a domestic battery charge.

Police didn’t immediately respond to messages Sunday and calls to Coleman’s cellphone rang unanswered Sunday. Coleman is not married and details of his domestic situation were not immediately available.

It wasn’t immediately clear what consequences Coleman might face in the House after his arrest. He was being held without bond ahead of a court appearance scheduled for Monday.

“Given what little we know about the situation, I am concerned for everyone involved,” Speaker of the House, Ron Ryckman, said to the Kansas City Star. “I know that law enforcement will thoroughly investigate and assess the situation so that we can take appropriate action.”

House Democratic Leader Tom Sawyer said Coleman should resign.

“This is extremely disturbing news. We are watching closely to make sure we gather all the facts,” Sawyer said. “His constituents and the State of Kansas would be better served if he were to resign and get the help he badly needs. However, I want to reiterate again that the House Democratic Caucus does not condone this behavior in any way, shape, or form.”

After he was elected last year, Coleman received a written reprimand from a legislative committee about his conduct before taking office.

The House committee’s investigation of Coleman followed accusations of abusive behavior toward girls and young women. He acknowledged some of the behavior on social media and said he had been a troubled teenager.

Earlier this month, Coleman was also banned from the Kansas Department of Labor’s offices because the agency’s director said Coleman had tried to improperly gain entry to the department’s main office through a secured employee entry and berated a security officer.

At that time, Coleman said he was trying to help constituents deal with the state’s unemployment system.

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