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Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Barrows involved in alleged assault involving resident, council critic Jay Gray

Jay Gray

Cerritos resident Jay Gray was involved in a incident with Cerritos Mayor Pro-Tem Bruce Barrows on Monday night.

By Brian Hews

Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Barrows was involved in an incident Monday night that could land the veteran city councilman in legal hot water after he allegedly physically assaulted resident Jay Gray.

Gray, who is on Tuesday’s ballot for a seat on the Central Basin Water Board of Directors told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper in an exclusive interview Tuesday morning that Barrows “grabbed me” and “threw him” and “yanked at his jacket and neck tie” after the meeting to dispute Gray’s public comments he made about various city priorities for the upcoming fiscal year.

Cerritos Councilman Bruce Barrows involved in alleged assualt on water board candidate

Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Barrows was involved in an incident Monday night that could land the veteran city councilman in legal hot water after he allegedly physically assaulted resident Jay Gray who is a candidate in Tuesday election for a local water board election.

Gray said that Barrows “became enraged” after the meeting was over and confronted him inside the city council chambers. “He got right in my face, and wouldn’t stop his aggressive language,” Gray said.

Gray, a resident of Cerritos for the past 40 years, then attempted to distance himself from Barrows and the councilman allegedly followed him outside the city council chambers and then apparently grabbed Gray by the arm and began pushing and shoving him while still yelling obscenities.

“I was stunned,” Gray said.

Gray then told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper that he told Barrows he was going to the Cerritos Sheriff’s Department next door to city hall to file a formal complaint.

Members of the Cerritos Sheriff’s Department confirmed that Gray filed a report and that Barrows was interviewed by a Detective and confirmed the incident.

Law enforcement also interviewed one additional witness, long time resident and city council critic Jim McMahon. McMahon told LCCN that he tried to “get Barrows to calm down,” but the heated exchange continued.

Lt. Harpham with the Cerritos Sheriff’s Department said that an “incident” did take place involving Barrows and Gray, and that a “formal investigation has been launched, pending further review.”

Harpham also confirmed that Barrows and Gray were both interviewed along with “one other witness.”

“We are just beginning the investigation,” Harpham said.

Barrows is the current President of the League of California Cities, Los Angeles Division. Los Cerritos Community Newspaper will have additional details as they become available on Tuesday.

Calls into Barrows were not returned to Los Cerritos Community Newspaper.

Harpham said that the case will turned over to the Los Angels County District Attorney’s Office “when we are done with our investigation.”

Update: Tuesday, June 5 at 6:25 p.m.
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper was given a copy of an email Cerritos Mayor Pro-Tem Bruce Barrows sent to a local on-line web site regarding the incident via his personal email account:

“At the conclusion of our budget meeting, while I was walking back to City Hall a discussion with Jay Gray became heated with my walking away from him. Jay then followed me out of the building making a sexual comment about my wife. A report was filed separately by Jay and myself with the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station that is under investigation. We are hoping to have a decision from the D.A. tomorrow. I refer you to the contents of that report for the facts, which are substantially different from that reported by the Community News.”


Copyright. All Rights Reserved. Los Cerritos Community Newspaper. Hews Media Group. 2012. Republication with proper attribution

  • Floyd Farrar says:

    This incident shows EXACTLY how the messiah from south Chicago has polarized and divided the country even down to the local level! Talking politics is now a contact sport – the common folks are ENRAGED at what is happening to the nation and the state of CA. MOST of it done by liberals I might add. Why? Facts are facts in spite of what will be said.. Conservatives and logical, rational thinking ideas have not been in charge of ANYTHING here locally or state wide for DECADES and it SHOWS! If anyone saw the Frank Luntz focus group on Fox Monday night from Wisconsin you get the idea.. When people have their minds so made up that logical PROVEN facts have no bearing – we are steps closer to the anarchy the present regime wants!

    Keep your powder dry it might be needed…

  • Getting Soaked says:

    Let’s face it people, Cerritos is in a free-fall. Those guys placed all their eggs in one basket for decades and now that redevelopment has dried up, the Cerritos facade is not that pretty anymore. WELL, WELCOME TO REALITY MR. BARROWS! Guys like Jay Gray have seen through the hype and propaganda for years now and have warned you that BS funding schemes, money losing poster child projects that only a nut would support and the let’s sue anybody who gets in our way mentality IS OVER! Bruce, you need to stop thinking Cerritos is Beverly Hills, it’s just a former cow pasture paved over with a ton of cars and merchandise…BIG DEAL! It’s not about the next “big deal” or Taj Mahal…it’s about quality of life issues that affect it our everyday residents, not how may opening night premieres you get to attend at the money losing Performing Arts Center.

  • Ron says:

    I want to know why Bruce Barrows isn’t in custody? He commited an assult per PC422. Any one else would be behind bars right now! If the Sheriff doesn’t arrest him or file charges with the D.A I would request this case be sent to IA for investigation of the Sheriff to failure to do his duty. Period.

    • Cynthia says:

      Call the Sheriff’s Department and speak your mind. This isn’t an isolated incident with the aggressive behavior at City Hall – this is just the 1st time it’s been caught. Now I understand better why the paid staff is allowed to get aggressive with the residents. I asked Barrows for help with an issue when I was very ill. It ended up in an altercation with the person he sent me to. I ended up in the hospital scared past the point of straight thought. I had to get an attorney to deal with them. It got better after that but it should have never gone that far. Now I can forward the article to the attorney and what happened to me doesn’t sound so off the wall anymore.

    • Chris says:

      To start with that’s the wrong PC section. Secondly it’s not a felony and does not require an arrest, thirdly not committed in the presence of the officer so it requires a report if requested. There seems to be a small number of people willing to jump to conclusions. Wouldn’t want any of them on a jury. Minds like these are what led to laws against lynchings.

  • Ron Dossey says:

    Floyd Farrar crawl back under the rock you crawled out of. Not everything is about you Republicans nut cases.. Take your dry powder, and go back to the hick state you came from. Now, Why isn’t Barrows in jail? Is the Cerrito’s Sheriffs Department afraid of the Mayor? Are they afraid they might lose the Police contract? I hope Jay Gray sues the city, and Barrows.

  • Slick Phil says:

    That’s why I’m voting for you Jay Gray!!!


    Bruce Barrows has demonstrated the Latent Maniacal Tendencies that are eerily code to those demonstrated by another “Conservative Upstanding Christian Elected Official Family Man” DAN WHITE the NUT CASE who gunned down San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and SF County Supervisor Harvey Milk!
    LIKE BARROWS the Police SHIELDED Dan White from accounting for his erratic behavior until White Gunned Down two innocent elected officials.
    History Repeats Itself! Sadly Dan White got off for MURDER by pleading the famous Diminished Capacity “TWINKIE” Defense, arguing thorough shyster lawyers that his junk food diet and lack of sleep made caused him to KILL!

  • Max Girl says:

    Barrows needs to come clean, and stop the “spin crap.”

  • Joan W. says:

    Bruce Barrows is a hothead and a disgrace. He needs to resign.
    The residents of Cerritos must demand that their council members obey the law and conduct themselves as ladies and gentlemen. Thank you Los Cerritos News for your (once again) honest and straight-talk reporting.