NORWALK, Conn. – An altercation Monday night between Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Amanda Brown, former Norwalk Common Councilman Bill Krummel and Regina Krummel drew Norwalk Police and paramedics to City Hall parking lot, but charges are not likely to be filed, Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik said.
Bill Krummel, 84, said he was punched in the eye by Brown, 38, an account that was corroborated by a witness, Gordon Tully. Regina Krummel, 82, said she was pushed to the ground and gashed her elbow. Both Krummels declined medical attention at the scene and on Tuesday said they will be fine.
Brown declined to comment.
Mr. Krummel said he slapped Brown.
The incident was reported to police at 7:26 p.m. Monday by Tully, who said he was not there with the Krummels.
Tully said he was going into City Hall and heard a “very loud argument” between the Krummels and Brown.
“Whether anybody pushed anybody or not I can’t remember,” he said. “They were yelling at the top of their voices. At some point Bill Krummel said something that offended Amanda. She threw a right cross to the cheek and drew blood. Somebody may have been down but I’m a terrible eyewitness, I don’t remember.”
The Krummels say the incident started because Mrs. Krummel would like to run to be on the Board of Education, but Brown did not include her on a list that was sent out this week.
Mrs. Krummel said she called Brown and left a voice mail that said she wanted to speak with her, without saying why. She said she informed Brown there was a District E meeting that night at City Hall, that if she was in the vicinity she could come by and talk to her about it, but, if not, she could call until midnight.
The Krummels said when they arrived at City Hall for the 7:30 p.m. meeting, Brown was there.
Mrs. Krummel said she started to get out of the car and Brown ran up, waving a printout of an email Mrs. Krummel had sent in April.
“She was waving it in my face as I got out of the car and screaming at me,” Mrs. Krummel said.
That email referred to Mrs. Krummel’s desire to run for the BOE. According to Mrs. Krummel, the email said, “If there is an opening for an At-Large Board of Education candidate I’d like to throw my hat in the ring.”
Brown had highlighted segments of the email, and was saying, “You said ‘if,’” the Krummels said.
“I was shocked,” Mrs. Krummel said. “All I wanted to do was have a conversation with her. I’m not on the DTC, I just wanted to have to a conversation with her.”
Mrs. Krummel said Brown was too close to her and yelling. She tried to push Brown away from her, she said. Brown pushed back, she said. Mr. Krummel described this as “a pushing match.”
Mrs. Krummel said that Brown pushed her and she flew 10 feet before hitting the pavement. Her glasses went flying, she said.
She broke her fall with her elbow.
Mr. Krummel said he was getting out of the car and he saw his wife on the ground. Mrs. Krummel has had two hip replacements, he said. She has also suffered hip dislocations, which, he said, causes paralyzing pain.
He said he saw her on the ground and worried that her hip was dislocated again. He exchanged words with Brown and slapped her, he said. Brown, who he said had keys in her hand, balled her fist around the keys and punched him, he said.
His glasses helped shield him from the blow, he said. One lens came out.
The police arrived. Both parties said they would not press charges, he said. Kulhawik confirmed that.
Mr. Krummel said he went to see an ophthalmologist Tuesday.
“He has a serious eye injury but he’s going to be alright,” Mrs. Krummel said.
She is not going to press charges because of the time involved, and she feels she wants to do positive things with the time she has left, she said.
That is why she wants to be on the BOE.
“I want to give energy to things that I think are significant,” she said. “I am tired of hearing that things are dismal (in the school system).”
“It’s not that I’m afraid of pressing charges against her,” she said. “What would be the point? It’s not going to make a difference in Norwalk life. I’m not a coward. I go to prison every week.”
Mr. Krummel said Brown has no business single-handedly deciding who will be a candidate and who won’t.
“Amanda has refused to recognize Regina as a candidate for the Board of Ed,” he said. “That’s ridiculous, it’s not up to her to screen candidates.”
It’s Brown’s job to forward potential candidates to a committee for vetting, he said. He likened leaving his wife off the list to leaving District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra off the list of candidates for mayor.
“We’d all get pretty upset at that, wouldn’t we?” Krummel asked.
NDTC member Diane Lauricella said she has problems with Brown’s behavior.
“I as a member of the DTC I am really concerned that the chairman continues to behave in manners that are embarrassing to the party,” she said. “I have seen her get very belligerent and I don’t agree with her.”
Republicans have problems, too, she said, but you won’t read about them.
“It’s not as though the Republicans love each other,” she said. “They have done some behind-the-scenes back stabbing, it’s just that they keep it quiet. … I know that most of us in the party know how to handle differences of opinions. I’m very sad when the head of the party and other leaders don’t know how to behave in a civil manner, because I want to see my party become a big tent, not a big circus tent.”
(Editor’s note — Amanda Brown released a statement on this incident after the story was published.)