Glynn County’s State Court public defender was booked into the county jail Monday on a charge of misdemeanor simple battery, stemming from an incident Sunday in which Billy Reid Zeh III allegedly attacked another man in a bar on St. Simons Island, according to a police report.
Zeh, 43, was released from the Glynn County Detention Center later Monday after posting a $1,256 bond. Zeh is public defender for Glynn County State Court, which handles misdemeanor crimes and traffic infractions. It is a part-time position.
The alleged incident occurred around 5:15 p.m. Sunday in the bar at the King and Prince Hotel, 201 Arnold Road, a Glynn County Police report states. Zeh allegedly grabbed a man who was sitting at the hotel’s bar, threw him to the ground and then kicked him several times, according to the police report.
Zeh allegedly was angry with the man because of the woman he was sitting with, the report said. The victim told police he was just friends with the woman, but indicated she may be romantically involved with Zeh. The alleged assault caught the victim completely off guard, the report said.
The victim told police that “all of a sudden he was grabbed from behind and thrown the floor,” the police report said. The victim “stated that he was then kicked approximately two to three times.” Witnesses told police they saw much the same thing.
One man told police he then physically pulled Zeh off of the victim “to separate the two,” the report said. The bartender told police he also “hugged him to prevent (Zeh) from attacking (the victim) any more,” according to the report.
Afterward, Zeh allegedly “immediately left the scene,” the report said.
Another employee told police that Zeh is an acquaintance, but that Zeh was “real forceful” when he approached him before the alleged incident. He said Zeh allegedly “asked him if he could hit (the victim),” the report said.
“According to the witness, the next thing he saw was (the victim) ‘flying through the air,’” the report said.
Glynn County Police officer Corey Mallard said the hotel’s security video shows Zeh “throw the victim to the ground,” the report said. However, Mallard said the victim showed no physical signs of an assault. “I was unable to observe any injuries” to the victim, Mallard said.
Police issued a warrant for Zeh’s arrest Sunday. Zeh turned himself in to the Glynn County Detention Center on Monday, county undersheriff Ron Corbett said.
When contacted by The News on Monday afternoon, Zeh stated that he has a lawyer and that there are “two sides to every story.” He declined to comment further.