Metro-East News

Prenzler tells police he was assaulted by three men at church fundraiser

Madison County board chairman Kurt Prenzler was involved in a fight at a church fundraiser Saturday in Madison, which he said involved a former county employee.

Prenzler’s office released a statement alleging that the chairman was pushed and shoved by two men, then physically dragged over to a third man as all three verbally threatened him.

The incident took place at the annual Pig and Lamb event at St. Mary Church in Madison. The event is an indoor church fundraiser, which was attended by several hundred people, according to Madison Police Chief Christopher Burns.

The event is hosted by the Men’s Club at the church. Father Jeff Holtman said he didn’t witness the incident as he left the event prior to it occurring.

Burns confirmed that Prenzler walked into the Madison Police Department at about 2:45 p.m. Saturday and reported that he had been assaulted. The incident is under investigation.

“We are getting conflicting stories from each side,” Burns said. “We do know there was some kind of disturbance there … It’s one person’s word against another.”

Burns said no one was taken to the hospital with injuries. Prenzler’s statement said he was able to identify one of the individuals as a former county employee, who served under former treasurer Fred Bathon.

Police are still interviewing witnesses, and Burns said they hope to wrap up the investigation in the next few days. At that time, it will be referred to the Madison County State’s Attorney’s office to consider whether charges will be filed.

Prenzler declined to comment further.

Detectives will conduct more interviews to determine what happened and, if appropriate, present the case to prosecutors for criminal charges.

Prenzler, a Republican, defeated long-time County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan, a Democrat, in November.

Beth Hundsdorfer: 618-239-2570, @bhundsdorfer

BND reporter Elizabeth Donald contributed to this report.