Republican City Council candidate Anson Parker is not the first person running for office with an arrest record—Wes Bellamy had his own bout with unresolved traffic tickets two years ago. Parker has racked up three arrests for public drunkenness since 2006, with the most recent in January of this year. He also was charged with obstruction of justice in 2007—and found not guilty.
Parker, 37, a computer programmer, tells C-VILLE what happened with each of his charges, starting with his first drunk in public arrest at 3:50am June 25, 2006. “This is the time I was quite literally crawling home,” he writes in an e-mail. “The officer told me to stop and I tried to crawl faster…. rather pitiful….” He was found guilty in absentia and paid the $25 fine and $86 in court costs July 10, 2006.
On March 23, 2007, Parker was charged with obstruction of justice and later found not guilty. He says his friend was in an accident and “kinda loopy” and he was trying to help. In his explanation to some officers, he says he may have been a bit brusque. A week later at a March 30, 2007, hearing, a judge found him not guilty.
His August 18, 2012, DIP arrest was “a bit of a mess,” concedes Parker. He says he had about a week in between his apartment getting torn down and closing on his house, so he spent a few days sleeping by the river and had “several beverages” to make sleeping simpler. He says he awoke to police officers asking where he lived, and when he explained his situation, they “were pretty nonplussed,” and said, “Since you don’t have a home, we’re going to provide one.” Parker pleaded guilty and prepaid the $106 fine and costs, according to court records.
Parker attributes his most recent January 24 drunk in public arrest to the open bar at a beer festival and “those porter stouts.” The police officer who arrested him was en route to jail and saw a white male stumble across Ridge Street at Cherry Avenue in front of traffic. The suspect was belligerent, had slurred speech and smelled strongly of alcohol, according to the officer’s report. “Truth is I wiped out right in front of two cops,” says Parker, who claims he was a block away from his house. “Soooo close…could see the front door.”
Parker reminds us that his arrests are not his only mischief, and points to his patent for making THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, out of bacteria. He also says he was thrown out of UVA after 9-11 for making a peace sign. “That was fairly epic,” he says.
As for whether his arrests will affect his chance at election in the Dem-heavy town that already makes the chance of a Republican getting elected slim, Parker says he’s more interested in getting people to use the Cville Council Us app he’s developed that allows citizens to weigh in on issues and learn about cool things in the city: “So if I can get 1,000 people to download the app, I’ve done pretty well, if I can get 5,000 I’ve totally won—even if none of those people vote for me…. just that the technology is in place and there’s a means for people to communicate with the city at a granular level.”