GRAPHIC: Utah town mayor appears to be spit on and hit after city council meeting

Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 10:17 AM EDT
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OREM, Utah (KSTU) - Video shows the mayor of a Utah town appear to have been spit on and hit after a city council meeting Tuesday.

One woman was arrested in connection to the incident.

“Really scary, something you never think you’d experience,” said Michelle Lee, the daughter of an Orem city council member.

Lee was outside the city council chambers after the meeting when she saw the incident happen, and she shared the video with KSTU.

In the video, David Young, the mayor of Orem, appears to be spit on by a woman. Later on, she appears to hit Young.

Young spoke to KSTU about the incident.

“So, she charges towards me, she spits at me, she spits and hits the girl next to me,” Young said. “So, when that happened, obviously I wasn’t really happy about that, and so I grabbed her by the chest and started to push her back to try to get her away from us.”

The woman, identified as Linnea Pugmire, was arrested on multiple charges, including one count of assault and one count of threatening elected officials.

The incident came after Young spoke for 20 minutes in the city council meeting about how he disagreed with Pugmire’s mother, Genelle Pugmire’s reporting in the Daily Herald.

“We come in here a couple days after some extremely off-the-rails articles that keep showing up in our local newspaper called the Daily Herald,” Young said during the meeting.

The city of Orem shared a statement that said in part “We are deeply troubled by this incident ... the city of Orem will continue to promote civility at all times and ask for the public to join us in this effort.”

Lee’s dad is a city council member, and she said her sister was hit too.

“Oh, terrified, because it’s my ... I’m with my mom, and my sisters, the mayor, the city attorney, I don’t know what her plan was, she was so erratic and unhinged. She could have done anything, she had keys on her lanyard she was swinging around. I didn’t know what her next move was,” Lee said.

Young said that this sort of thing should not happen to public elected officials in general.

“They should be able to speak, to have discussions, to have honest discussions and have it be civil debate without fear of having someone jump out of a car and attack them,” he said.

KSTU reached out to the Daily Herald and an editor said the newspaper had nothing to say at this time.

Genelle Pugmire did not respond to efforts to reach her, and Linnea Pugmire said they have no comments to make about the incident at this time.