BLADENSBURG-- Bladensburg Councilman Selwyn "Donnie" Bridgeman filed a police report claiming a group of men tried to set him on fire Wednesday evening as he was picking up campaign signs in a residential neighborhood following a loss in Tuesday's mayoral election.
"’That's him, that's the guy,’" Bridgeman said the men yelled as they jumped out of a dark pick-up truck and doused him with liquids. "They threw something like a Zippo lighter or a match. The fire started on my left pants leg."
Bridgeman alleged that the truck had a Mexican flag embedded in the rear window and believes the alleged attackers were angry because he, Bridgeman, cost voters a "Mexican mayor."
Bladensburg Police Chief Tracy Stone said the incident is under investigation.
Bridgeman said the alleged attack occurred between 9:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. in the 4900 block of Quincy Road. The same evening he filed a restraining order against Chris "Alicia" Melendez, an opponent in the mayoral race.
However, it was Bridgeman that police wanted to talk to when they knocked on his door at 6:00 a.m. the following morning.
On Thursday, Bladensburg Police served Bridgeman a restraining order that was requested by Melendez.
According to Bridgeman, Melendez felt threatened by statements that were posted on social media which appeared to come from Bridgeman’s Facebook account. Bridgeman would not disclose the content of the Facebook posts, but a person familiar with them said they included Melendez's personal contact information.
"If that's the case, then I'll accept that," Bridgeman said. However, he denies making the posts himself and believes that one of his supporters created them.
"She [Melendez] was a spoiler candidate," Bridgeman said. "We've had one mayor for 15 years. I am the opposition force. Someone from my own camp runs against me. My campaign is full of angry people."
Bridgeman's request for a restraining order, also called a Peace Order, was rejected.
According to an online Maryland case law database, the decision on the peace order request read: "No reasonable grounds to believe that respondent is responsible for the abuse that occurred."
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