Houston police are investigating claims that a conservative radio host fled the scene after hitting a parked car at a popular local gay bar.
Although police initially declined to press charges against Michael Berry, at least two witnesses have come forward and video evidence places him at the club around the time of the accident.
“Videos don’t lie,” T.C.’s Show Bar bouncer Tuderia Bennett, the victim of the hit and run, told KPRC. “They don’t paint pictures that don’t exist.”
The video shows a man who looks like Berry entering the bar while men in drag performed nearby. He ordered a beer and went to the bathroom on at least two occasions.
After leaving the bar at around 11 p.m. on Jan. 31, Berry allegedly backed his black Chevrolet Tahoe up 70 feet before smashing into Bennett’s Volkswagen Passat.
Bennett told police that he clearly saw Berry behind the wheel, but they refused to file charges.
“I’d say that’s the government at work,” he said. “I mean that’s corruption at its best.”
“You know, a hit and run is a criminal, whether or not you’re an average individual or somebody who has his political pull that he does,” Bennett added in an interview with KHOU.
Berry, a former Republican city councilman, suggested on his radio show on Thursday that he had been framed by his “enemies.”
“I’ve always said when you do what I do, the way I do it, you make enemies,” he said. “When you poke your finger in as many people’s eye as I do every day, you make enemies,” adding that they will “will accuse you of most anything.”
“You have to trust that in the end, the system works itself out, that there are checks and balances, there are people who will verify. But you also recognize that there are some people who want you to be crushed. There’s some people who hate you. There are some people who privately would benefit from you not being on the air.”
But Bennett believes that Berry is behind a cover up.
“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,” he said.
In his role as a conservative radio host and activist, Berry has been no stranger to controversy.
Clear Channel, which owns KPRC-AM, had to apologize in 2010 after he suggested that someone should bomb the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” if it were ever built.
“I’ll tell you this — if you do build a mosque, I hope somebody blows it up,” he said. “I hope the mosque isn’t built, and if it is, I hope it’s blown up, and I mean that.”
Watch this video from KHOU and KPRC, uploaded Feb. 17, 2012.
Photo: Clear Channel