ASU Trustee responds after allegedly choking Reggie Barlow during deposition

ASU Trustee responds after allegedly choking Reggie Barlow during deposition
ASU Trustee Herbert Young (Source: ASU website)
ASU Trustee Herbert Young (Source: ASU website)
Trustee Young's written response. (Source: Herbert Young)
Trustee Young's written response. (Source: Herbert Young)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Alabama State University Board of Trustee Herbert Young is responding after former ASU head football coach Reggie Barlow claimed he was attacked by the man Thursday during a legal deposition with his attorney and others present.

Barlow and his attorney said they filed assault charges against Young. Young said he filed assault charges against Barlow. A check with the Montgomery Police Department indicates incident reports were filed. MPD spokeswoman Lt. Denise Barnes could not say for certain if warrants were signed, but said if they were, they would be misdemeanors.

There was an audio recording of the deposition, which shows the situation intensifying between Young and Jackson before yelling and cursing can be heard. The included recording was provided by Barlow's legal team. Both sides were aware of the recording. Cursing has been edited out.

Young said he's done a number of depositions in his lifetime, "and I have never encountered anything of this nature with the hostility and rudeness that was portrayed..." during the less than 10 minute

"Hell of a way to start a Thursday," said Barlow attorney Donald Jackson, claiming Young put his hands around Barlow's throat and tried to punch him just minutes in the scheduled deposition in regards to the former coach's wrongful termination suit against the University.

"At no time did I strike or choke Reggie Barlow..." Young responded after reports of the outburst.

Jackson said he and his client were sitting on one side of the table as questioning got underway, and approximately three to five minutes into the process, "He got irate..." Jackson recalled. The questioning had yet to move beyond basic background information.

The attorney said he was asking Young about his educational background and, "before I finished the question, I simply asked him to let me finish the question before he starts blurting out an answer." Jackson said Young walked around the table, "got up in my face, initially with his arms flailing around, threatening me."

"He was talking to my a manner that really took me by surprise considering we had just started..." Barlow recalled.

Young was pushed outside the room by his attorney, Jackson recalled, but he came right back, prompting Jackson to get out of his chair.

"[Young] Started screaming at me, "You not gonna disrespect me..." waving his hand in my face. Threatening me." It was at that point when Jackson said he put his hands in the air. "I didn't move. I sat in the chair, put my hands up...and said "Listen, I'm not going to fight with you. I'm not going to fight you. You're 60-years-old.""

Young's attorney pulled him from the room a second time, "but he came charging back through the door at Coach Barlow," Jackson explained after the trustee heard the coach make a comment saying it was a shame that a university trustee would act so unprofessional.

Jackson said he managed to get between Young and Barlow. "He's got him [Barlow] around the neck trying to throw punches at him, slamming his head up against the door," the attorney stated. "It sort of degenerated from there."

But Young said it was the other way around, that as he was trying to leave, Jackson made threats and "became physical with me." The ASU trustee further alleges it was Barlow who "reached around [his attorney] and struck me twice."

Following the incident, Alabama State University filed a motion for a protective order against Barlow.

The entire ordeal lasted about 5 minutes, according to Jackson, but left an impact. "I literally wound up having to wrestle him back into the room, and finally got him calmed down..."

"I've been attacked by Ray Lewis and middle linebackers, and guys that played football games in the NFL, but I never thought I'd be attacked by a board member coming at me in an irate fashion," Barlow said looking back at the events of that morning.

Barlow is pursuing a wrongful termination lawsuit against the university claiming fraud, breach of contract, wrongful termination, and negligence. The suit names several highly placed ASU officials in their individual and official capacities, including Trustee Young. The former Hornets coach was into his third week of a new 3-year contract in 2014 when he was allegedly approached by the interim athletics director asking him to resign. After declining, Barlow was voted out of the job by the ASU Board.

"This is a representative of the University. This is a university board member down here on official university business assaulting my client," Jackson said.

Jackson said he and his client had been trying to get depositions from ASU Trustees "for months" and said Thursday's outburst wouldn't put a stop to them. "We will take his deposition," Jackson said, "even if that means taking his deposition with the Montgomery Police Department outside of the door."

"We want to get this lawsuit on and done with..." Barlow said. "He [Young] was part of it, and we're trying to find out how did it happen, and that's why we're here to question him."

Young said he wouldn't be "trying this case in the media" and that he believes "I will be fully vindicated after the legal process has concluded."

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