Randy Travis in Church Spat, Cited for Assault
Police: "Forever and Ever, Amen" singer was fighting over a woman
Troubled country singer Randy Travis was involved in a dust-up outside a Texas church late Thursday following an argument between a woman he is possibly dating and her estranged husband, officials say.
The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Plano police responded to a disturbance call to the Prestonwood Baptist Church at 10:30 p.m. where they determined that a married couple had been involved in a "strictly verbal" argument. Police believe the woman is Travis' girlfriend.
Police spokesman David Tilley says that at some point during the alleged incident, Travis "physically assaulted an individual who was there," referring to the woman's husband.
"He was issued a citation for Class C simple assault, which in Texas can be anything from an an unwanted push to a strike that didn't cause pain or injury," says Tilley. "Everybody refused transport. Nobody wanted to go to hospital."
Tilley cast doubt on an earlier report, from TMZ, claiming Travis was drunk.
"Everyone is making the assumption that he was extremely intoxicated, as TMZ put it," Tilley says. "I've got the report, and there's no indication he was intoxicated at all. Was he? I don't know, but the report doesn't say he was."
TMZ also reported that the two men were taken to the hospital, but that has not been confirmed. There were no arrests.
The church's pastor, Jack Graham, alerted his congregation to the event on Twitter. "Please pray for us as we deal with the arrest of Randy Travis on our school property. News is breaking everywhere," he wrote. The tweet has since been deleted.
The dust-up comes two weeks after Travis was arrested near his home in Tioga, about an hour north of Dallas, after police found him drunk, naked and covered in cuts and bruises on the side of the road following a car wreck. The country star, whose hits include "Honky Tonk Moon" and "Forever and Ever, Amen," was charged with DWI and "retaliation or obstruction" because of a threat he allegedly made to the arresting officer.
When he left county jail the next day after posting $21,500 bail, the crooner was barefoot and wearing police-issued paper scrubs.
The felony retaliation count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
In February, Travis was arrested and charged with public intoxication after he was found in his car in front of a Baptist church in Sanger, about 20 miles from his home.
Travis is in a protracted battle with his former wife and manager, Elizabeth Travis, who filed a wrongful termination lawsuit earlier this year. They ended their 19-year marriage in 2010, though she remained his manager. Travis countersued in May, accusing her of intentionally trying to damage his reputation.