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(UPDATE) Decatur Police still investigating altercation between two musicians

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(UPDATE) Decatur Police still investigating altercation between two musicians

Photo provided by the Decatur Police Department

Decatur, GA — Decatur Police have released the initial incident report about the altercation between two musicians who played at Eddie’s Attic on June 19.

According to the incident report, the officer who responded said due to conflicting accounts, they were unable to determine who the “primary aggressor” was. But Capt. Jennifer Ross later clarified that the Police Department is still investigating this case, which means an arrest might be possible.

“An investigator was not on scene the night of the incident,” Ross said. “An on-duty patrol officer responded to the call and took the initial incident report. Based on conflicting statements, the officer did not feel they had enough probable cause to make an arrest at that time. The case was subsequently assigned to an investigator and is currently being investigated.”

The musicians blame each other for the incident, which began as a dispute over one of the musician’s touching the other musician’s guitar.

Eddie’s Attic, the venue where the incident occurred, has not returned a message seeking comment. Soul singer Kristy Lee and country music songwriter Heath Sanders both played gigs at Eddie’s Attic on June 19. Lee said in her Facebook post that she was attacked by Sanders and possibly another person in the venue’s greenroom. Sanders said he was acting in self-defense after Lee confronted him in the green room and put her hands on him.

According to the incident report, the officer met with Lee at her hotel room about 30 minutes after the incident. She told the officer she finished her set and Sanders set followed hers. She said a member of his crew moved her guitar from the stage and set it aside, so they could begin setting up. Lee “realized that someone touched her guitar” and met with Sanders and a fellow band member in the green room. She apologized for holding up the set and asked who moved the guitar, Lee told the officer. Sanders and his band member didn’t say anything. She said whoever moved her guitar was a “bad boy.” Sanders told her she “should have moved her shit off stage,” Lee said.

Lee told the officer the confrontation escalated as she tried to reach around Sanders to grab her guitar case. She said Sanders hit her in the side of the face at least three times and then grabbed her by the throat. She said she wasn’t sure how the incident ended. She left the green room and informed the manager on duty.

The officer saw Lee’s ear was red but didn’t see any other marks resulting from the altercation.

The officer asked Lee if she needed medical attention, but she declined. She told the officer she wished to prosecute due to possibly unknown injuries she received. She told the officer she thought Sanders was “frustrated about the number of gay people he had to deal with at the club.” In her initial post, Lee said Sanders had used “multiple homophobic slurs against me.”

According to the incident report, she could not recall what Sanders said, “but stated he was very homophobic.”

Sanders had a different account. The officer spoke to Sanders at Eddie’s Attic. He stopped in the middle of his set and spoke with the officer in a separate room.

Sanders told the officer that Lee was 30 minutes over her set and didn’t realize another set was following hers. He moved her guitar off-stage and left it next to the stage.

He said Lee entered the greenroom where Sanders was sitting with his bandmate. She apologized for holding up the set and said “whoever touched my guitar and moved it, that’s a f&*!ing no no.”

Sanders told her she was 30 minutes over and “left her shit on stage and they had a job to do.” He said “if she didn’t want her stuff touched to get it off the stage.” He told the officer he became “pissed off.” He said Lee entered the room and walked past his bandmate to retrieve her guitar case. Sanders said the guitar case was behind him. He said he told her all she had to do was ask him to pass it to her and he would do so. Sanders said Lee walked toward him and said, “as a guitar player, mother f&*!er,  you should know better than to touch someone’s f&*!ing guitar.” He said Lee grabbed his shirt with both her hands, which he considered to be assault. Sanders said he grabbed Lee by the neck and pushed her against the wall. He said he didn’t hit her but told her “ma’am calm down, or I’m going to change your life.” He told her she shouldn’t assault anyone, man or woman.

His bandmate grabbed him by the shoulder and told him to stop. He let go and told Lee to “get the f&*! out of his green room.” Lee left, Sanders said.

The officer spoke with the bandmate who confirmed the part of the story about Lee’s set going over and her apologizing. He said Lee “kept going and going, egging on the situation.” The bandmate told police that Lee entered the room to get her guitar case and grabbed Sanders with her hands to push him out of the way. The bandmate said Sanders grabbed Lee “and held her there.” He said no punches were thrown and Sanders told her never to put her hands on anyone.

The officer spoke to the manager who said she didn’t see anything happen in the green room. She said Lee was “visibly upset” when she walked into the lobby and noticed a red mark on the side of her face.

“Due to conflicting statements, a primary aggressor could not be determined,” the police officer wrote.

The new details are unlikely to sway people who have taken up sides as the argument has played out online with both camps promising to “cancel” each other.

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