Union Man Charged With Felony Assault Over Scrap at Warrior Met Coal Picket Line
A West Virginia man aiding in the workers' strike at Warrior Met Coal in Brookwood was arrested Monday and charged with felony assault over a scrap that occurred on the picket line last year.
In a July 5 deposition obtained by the Tuscaloosa Thread, Brookwood Police said they responded to an incident on October 19, 2021 in the driveway of Warrior Met Coal's headquarters on Highway 216 in Brookwood.
The deposition identified the suspect in this case as Floyd Banfield Conley of Kanawha, West Virginia.
Conley is a representative of the United Mine Workers of America, the union backing the coal miners' strike at Warrior Met Coal. The strike began last April over promises the company allegedly made to miners after it bought the assets of Walter Energy in 2015 and failed to keep after their operation became hugely profitable.
Conley was picketing back in October, and allegedly stopped in front of the victim's vehicle while they tried to turn into the parking lot at Warrior Met Coal to go to work. The deposition did not say if the victim was a longtime Warrior Met employee or a strikebreaker.
The victim in the assault case allegedly "proceeded forward slowly" toward Conley when he "fell onto the hood of the victim's vehicle."
Police claim Conley then struck the windshield of the vehicle with a megaphone he was carrying, causing damage.
The driver exited his vehicle and Conley is accused of running to the driver's door and striking the victim in the back of the head with the megaphone. The victim reportedly sustained a small cut and swelling to his head.
The victim ran from the car, but left it in drive, which caused the vehicle to roll forward and strike a vehicle in front of it.
Conley was arrested on Monday and charged with second-degree assault and third-degree criminal mischief. The assault charge is a Class-C felony and the criminal mischief charge for the damage to the vehicle is a misdemeanor.
Conley was booked into the Tuscaloosa County Jail on a $10,500 bond and was released the same day. It was not immediately clear why his arrest comes nine months after the time of the alleged incident.