LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNW) — Kansas Democratic House Representative Aaron Coleman was arrested for driving under the influence on Saturday, Nov. 27.
Douglas County jail records show that he was arrested on I-70 heading westbound by Kansas State Highway Patrol. He was released on a $250 bond.
Coleman remains in office, but following news of Saturday’s arrest, both the governor and House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer have released statements encouraging Coleman to resign.
“I want to reiterate what I have said in the past: It is clear Representative Coleman is in dire need of help,” House Democratic Leader Tom Sawyer said. “For the sake of the state of Kansas, his constituents, and himself, he should resign and concentrate on getting the help he badly needs. The stress of the legislature is not a healthy environment for someone in this mental state.”
“Mr. Coleman’s most recent arrest is further evidence that he is not fit to serve in the Kansas House of Representatives and that his continued presence in the Legislature is a disservice to his constituents,” Gov. Laura Kelly said. “He should resign immediately and seek the treatment that he needs. If he does not resign, the legislature should use its process to remove him from office.”
On Oct. 30, police were called to an Overland Park home where Coleman lived with his brother. According to the affidavit, Coleman’s brother told officers the two men argued over his upcoming baptism. He then accused Coleman of pushing him backward, hitting him in the chest, and spitting on him.
The document shows that the men’s grandfather witnessed the fight. He also told officers that Coleman threatened to harm him and that Coleman kicked over a box fan and flipped a chair.
After interviewing Coleman’s brother and his grandfather, officers arrested Coleman. They said Coleman was uncooperative and refused to identify himself. The affidavit also shows that officers believed Coleman’s behavior was “extremely erratic” and fluctuated easily. He then told officers that he hadn’t slept in 72 hours.
Coleman was taken to the hospital, and he was eventually booked into jail. He entered a not guilty plea and was released on a $1,000 bond. Coleman will have to participate in a mental health evaluation and mental health programming as a condition of his release.
Coleman will be back in court on Dec. 22 for the domestic violence charge.
Coleman has represented Kansas’ 37th District in the state House of Representatives for a year.