A former Atlantic Beach town manager and current candidate for Sumter County sheriff has been arrested in connection to the assault of a resident earlier this year.
Benny Webb, 54, of Sumter has been charged with assault and battery in the third degree and is being held at J. Reuben Long Detention Center. He was arrested after a State Law Enforcement Division investigation at the request of the Atlantic Beach police department.
According to the arrest warrant, Webb has been charged for physically grabbing and threatening to harm Atlantic Beach resident Paul Curry at Town Hall. The incident was witnessed by others and recorded on audio by Curry.
Webb, who is a former SLED agent, also is a candidate in race for the Sumter County sheriff.
On Thursday, Curry said he was glad law enforcement pursued the incident.
I think his behavior on Jan. 31 was outrageous, Curry said.
Curry said he had gone to Town Hall to request a copy of a contract, but was told the document was unavailable. He considered that a refusal of his request, and stepped aside to take notes before calling the police to report a violation of the Freedom of Information Act.
The next thing I know, Benny Webb comes out of his office and hes got his hands on me, he said. Curry said Webb called him a racist twice, and then threatened to beat him up.
He said, If I ever see you outside of Horry County, Im going to take care of you, Curry said.
An Atlantic Beach police officer witnessed the last half of the incident, Curry said, and the officer told Curry to leave the property. According to Curry, Webb followed him outside before he left the property on the advice of Horry County authorities.
In March, Webb claimed Curry edited the recording before releasing it to the media and authorities and denies some of the recordings content.
Curry said he wants to attend the bond hearing.
I want some conditions on this man, he said. I consider him a danger considering the way he behaved in front of a police officer. I hope hes found guilt of the crime. I certainly believe theres sufficient evidence.
In a bond hearing Thursday, bond was set at $500 but Webb would only need to post 10 percent for his release.
Curry also hopes the arrest results in an additional charge for the violation of the Freedom of Information Act.
Webb tendered his resignation as town manager near the end of 2011, but said he would remain in the position until a replacement was found. His last day was March 12. Atlantic Beach has not yet filled the town manager position.
Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.