Rep. Brian King hopes newly released video will put debate over confrontation with Sen. Dan Thatcher to rest

Posted at 5:53 PM, Nov 21, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY — Republican Senator Dan Thatcher and Democratic Representative Brian King got into a heated argument inside the Utah State Capitol last month and it was all caught on camera.

Last week, Thatcher posted a video on Facebook about the incident.

“It was vicious. It was violent. It was insane,” Thatcher said.

Newly released video shows the so-called "vicious" attack.

“I put my hands on Dan Thatcher. I shouldn’t have done that, and I apologized but I also thought Dan was exaggerating the effect of the video,” King said.

Thatcher said it wasn't a little push, rather, that he was "grabbed and wrangled and manhandled."

King said he was frustrated because Thatcher was upset King wouldn’t endorse him, but King said he quickly realized he crossed the line and apologized.

“I texted him about 15 minutes later and said look I meant that apology. I’m sorry I got in your personal space. I shouldn’t have done that,” King said.

Despite that apology, Thatcher filed a criminal complaint.

“No one should ever be subject to unlawful physical contact,” Thatcher said.

It’s a complaint he still stands by. In a statement to Fox13, Thatcher said, “the unlawful use of force is never okay and in a case where it’s an elected official who doesn’t answer to HR and isn’t willing to resolve it, the only option left was to turn it over to the authorities.”

“I was really relieved that that is now public, and people can make up their own minds,” King said.

We showed the video to some people walking in Downtown Salt Lake City, including Ryan Jacobs and Edward Williams.

“You should never be putting hands on someone in the workplace,” Jacobs said.

Williams said while it looks like King pushed Thatcher, it appears King "gently pushed him and that was it."

While many acknowledge its inappropriate behavior, the people we spoke with don’t think it warrants criminal charges.

“I think it’s over the top,” Williams said.

Jacobs  said he also thinks criminal charges are over the top, “but you know if they’re trying to make a point then I’m sure they’re within their legal right to do so."

King hopes the video will help put the issue to rest.

“People will be able to make up their own minds and we'll just be able to move on,” King said.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney will not screen these charges due to a conflict of interest. Right now, they’re trying to find another local prosecutor to review the case and determine if formal charges are appropriate.