Conservative Radio Host Accused of Hit-and-Run Outside Gay Bar
Did Michael Berry, a Houston radio host and former city councilman, leave the scene of minor accident because he didn't want it known that he was at a gay bar?
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Former Houston city councilman and conservative talk radio host Michael Berry of KTRH (and WOAI in San Antonio) is known for hit-and-run positions on such topics as the Ground Zero Mosque (which he once suggested bombing), Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (a favorite source of in-show sound effects) and even current basketball sensation Jeremy Lin (“Decided to dump NBA this season,” Berry tweeted yesterday. “Found out today the Chinamen have even taken THAT over.
But what about an actual hit-and-run?
According to Stephen Dean of Houston’s NBC affiliate, KPRC, Berry (who also ran for mayor of Houston in 2003) has been outed as a suspect in an accident that took place on January 31 outside TC’s Bar, a Montrose gay club known for its drag performances.
Tuderia Bennett, a security guard at the club whose car was hit, tells Dean he was able to identify Berry from pictures after police confirmed, based on the license plate number Bennett wrote down, that the vehicle he saw belonged to Berry.
The police report says that the SUV was stopped at a stop sign near the club, then went into reverse for seventy feet, hitting Bennett’s vehicle, which was parked outside the club. The SUV also circled the block twice after the incident, which is how Bennett was able to take down the plate number.
Tuesdays at TC’s currently feature “Houston’s Drag Race Challenge,” a performing contest hosted by Alexis Nicole Whitney.
Bennett (left) says he’d previously seen Berry inside the club that night. And TC’s management told KPRC’s Dean in an email, “Mr. Berry is one of those customers who has been to our establishment. The video in question that shows Mr. Berry in our establishment is in our possession. The local authorities have requested this same video and they are in possession to assist with their investigation.”
But Dean reports that the police have no current plans to file charges. Berry replied to an inquiry from KPRC with an emailed comment saying, “I don’t respond to such things.”
Bennett told Dean he wants the damage to his car paid, but suspects that Berry left the scene not to avoid fiduciary responsibility, but because he wouldn’t want it known that he was at TC’s.
“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,” Bennett said.