Right wing blogger Gateway Pundit interviewed Harris Himes, who was one of the witnesses who claimed to have seen Elston McCowan and Perry Molens's "assault' of Kenneth Gladney outside of Russ Carnahan's townhall on August 6. And let me tell you, if you've been following this story, the interview was a doozy!
Here's the problem for the official tea party story. In the original police report, both Harris Himes and his wife claimed to have seen McCowan and Molens punching Gladney. However, in his new version, Himes claims that he wasn't looking when the fight started, and that his wife turned away right when it started! In other words, he admits that he did not see the part of the altercation that the right-wingers say was the horrible beating! This is especially interesting in light of the questions I've raised previously about Himes's credibility. Here's the interview from Gateway Pundit, and I'll go into more detail below:
So, the police report describes Himes testimony as follows:
Witness H. Himes stated that as he was leaving the school gymnasium, he saw Suspect McCowan talking to Victim Gladney. He stated he saw Suspect McCowan reach over the table and punch Victim Gladney in the face. This assault knocked the victim off balance. Suspect Molens then went around the table and pulled Victim Gladney over the table backwards by the back of his shirt collar. He began to punch and kick Victim Gladney. Witness H. Himes added that while Suspect Molens was kicking and punching Victim Gladney, Suspect McCowan then joined in on the assault.
However, in the new video Himes said (0:29):
And so I looked back because I heard a noise behind. And, it was my wife however, who could corroborate the fact that it was really a hate crime because she heard the black man who claims he's a minister also said "what's a ..... doing here" ... that was essentially what she heard. And I looked back and then I saw this guy slap Gladney...slap his hand away and start striking him but the other big white guy grabbed him and threw him down to the ground. So I came back, and I was trying to get them off Gladney, and my wife was circling to keep any of the others from jumping me. And so then we got them off and broke it up once and then they attacked him again. "
This is radically different than the initial story. First of all, Himes admits that he did not see how the fight started, even though the original police report suggests that he did. Second, he now claims that he first saw McCowan "slap Gladney's hand." In the original police report, he claimed that McCowan had reached "over the table" and punched Gladney. The fact that he said he saw him slapping Gladney's hand is especially significant since one of the original questions I raised was why Gladney says, at 0:43 of the original video of the altercation, "why'd you hit my hands?" If Gladney had just been beaten up, why would he ask about his hands? Likewise, if Himes had witnessed Gladney being severely beaten, why would he talk about his hands getting slapped? This of course dovetails with the with strangeness of the fact that Gladney was clearly walking around and looked uninjured in the original video, but then showed up in a wheelchair purportedly unable to walk or talk a few days later.
Furthermore, Himes then says that he he saw Molens come over and throw Gladney, "to the ground." But of course, this is the part we already saw in the video (when Molens is pulling Gladney, who looks like he's about to throw a punch, away from McCowan who's laying on the ground) , while the official right-wing story is that the alleged assault happened before the video. In other words, from what I can tell, basically all Himes witnessed other than a "hand slap" is the same thing that we saw on the video!
And what about his wife? In the police report, it says:
Witness #2, Sandra Himes', statement of the incident concurred with Harris' account of the incident. She did add that Victim Gladney did nothing to provoke this assualt.
But in the interview with Gateway Pundit, Harris has this to say (0:22):
Well, actually my wife had stopped to look at the buttons and the flags he was handing out, and just as she turned away, that's when he was attacked by the two SEIU guys..."
In other words, she did not see how the fight started either, because she had "just" turned away! But, again, this is in direct contradiction to the police report, which implied that she was a witness to the actual events. Furthermore, his story doesn't say anything about the two other people who Gladney and David Brown claimed also attacked Gladney.
In other words, Harris Himes has just told a story that contradicts the testimony of two of the three witnesses who claimed that Gladney was brutally beaten. I really hope the county prosecutors had some better evidence than what was presented in the initial police report when they decided to file charges, because so far I don't see how Elston McCowan could be charged with anything.
Bonus Link: While I was digging around for this story, I found a couple more falsehoods from Brown and Gladney. First, David Brown claims in an interview with Faux News that he witnessed the entire event (3:34), despite the fact that you can see that he walked over to the scene during the video, only after picking up his stuff and putting it in the car. And (3:23) Gladney claims that "i got up, kinda dazed, looking for my glasses, and then one guy was coming at me again and that's when the police came in" when the video clearly shows this to be false. No one was "coming after' Gladney when he was looking for his glasses. This story is so ridiculously full of holes!