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Assault Charges Against Veteran Congressman Dropped

August 29, 1987

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (AP) _ A man who accused veteran U.S. Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez of hitting him asked that a misdemeanor assault charge against the congressman be dropped, a prosecutor said Friday.

Bexar County District Attorney Fred Rodriguez said his office filed a motion to dismiss the charge after Bill Allen, who said Gonzalez hit him in a San Antonio restaurant, got tired of the case and Gonzalez apologized.

″He wanted a finality to it,″ Rodriguez said. ″He wanted both sides not to engage in any further political discussion.″

County court-at-law Judge Anthony Ferro was out of town and will decide next week about the dismissal, Rodriguez said.

Attorneys for Allen and Gonzalez agreed that the case would be dropped if Gonzalez apologized, the prosecutor said.

Gonzalez apologized to his constituents, said Nelson Atwell, chief of special crimes.

″He uses the word, ‘I regret’ and then he makes a general statement about I apologize to the citizens of Bexar County if I caused them any concern,″ Atwell said.

Gonzalez did not return telephone calls to The Associated Press Friday.

The alleged assault occurred Dec. 4 at a restaurant. Allen said Gonzalez punched him in the face, and Gonzalez said Allen accused him of being a communist. The congressman said he was defending himself because Allen appeared to be reaching for a weapon.

The case was scheduled to go to trial earlier this week.