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Riverside councilman resigns amid allegations he choked 2 women in Arizona

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A Riverside councilman abruptly resigned citing health reasons not long after he was arrested on suspicion of choking two women in Arizona. (KABC)

A Riverside councilman abruptly resigned citing health reasons not long after he was arrested on suspicion of choking two women in Arizona.

Councilman John Burnard, 52, was arrested in Lake Havasu.

During a council meeting, Mayor Rusty Bailey said he received a letter from Burnard that said he had resigned from his post on the city council effective Aug. 8

In that letter, Burnard cited health reasons for his abrupt departure, stating "for the sake of my family and the improvement of my physical health, I must step down from the city council."

The resignation comes weeks after he was accused of choking two women. Burnard, who represents Ward 7 in the city, has not attended a city council meeting since his arrest.

A redacted police report, which protects the identities of the victims, lays out how a night in Lake Havasu turned violent.

The first victim accuses Burnard of becoming jealous after she hugged a friend. She said she left a bar, but later called Burnard to pick her up. Then the two began to argue outside of a home.

That's when he allegedly began choking her until she blacked out, according to the report. The second victim said she tried to step in and was also allegedly choked.

Despite Burnard's abrupt resignation, city leaders stepped in to fill the void.

Eyewitness News reached out to Burnard for comment, but had not heard back. City leaders have 60 days to appoint someone to fill the councilman's spot until June 2019 or hold a special election.

Related Topics:
arrestchokingdomestic violenceArizonaRiversideRiverside County
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