The bouncer working outside the bar in question, Tuderia Bennett, reports that he saw Berry leave the bar and back up approximately 70 feet into a Volkswagen Passat, that just happened to be owned by Bennett. Surveillance video tape reportedly confirms the story.
Now, a hit-and-run outside a bar, especially one that results in no injuries, isn’t normally newsworthy. But it’s hard to deny it’s a different thing when the accused driver is a right-wing radio host who makes a living bashing away at the typical conservative radio targets like immigrants and gay marriage.
The hit-and-run incident occurred on January 31, but no charges were filed against Berry, even though the vehicle involved was confirmed as being registered to him and the existence of witnesses and video evidence. But since the story surfaced in the press last week, it seems that the Houston police chief is upset with how the case was handled and prosecutors are taking a second look. Apparently there’s the impression that police let it slide because Berry is a public figure, as well as a former Houston city councilman.
So far Berry has refused to talk to the press about the incident. On Tuesday he used his show to take aim at the television station that first broke the story:
“Was it a cover up?” Berry questioned. “No, it was a smear campaign. Channel 2, I’ve got my sights on you… You can smear my name without me but I’m not going down without a fight.”
He went on to say,
“Saying ‘gay bar’ and ‘conservative talk show host is too awesome for a news station to pass up because conservatives hate gays — or so we are told,” he said. “The only thing worse than a celebrity who gets it too easy is one who gets it too hard.”
For his part, Tuderia Bennett, the bouncer who’s car was hit, sums up his take on the moral of the story thusly, telling KPRC-TV:
“If you’re going to stand up and say anti-gay things and be conservative and be Mr. Good Guy, and then when something happens that points you out and puts you in a place with the exact business that you aim to shut down, it kind of makes it seem like I need this to go away and I need it to go away quickly,”