Police: Tempe man assaulted by ASU employee claims political argument led to bar brawl

TEMPE, Ariz. (FOX 10) - After two months of investigating, police have arrested Niall Ledford after they say he assaulted a Tempe man in a bar.

We've learned Ledford is an academic coordinator at ASU who teaches business courses. Police say he smashed a pint glass over the victim's head because they disagreed over politics. And it's all caught on camera.

A conversation on European trade policies got heated between Ledford and a man who chose to go by the name of Sid. Sid says he met Ledford while having drinks at Casey Moore's in Tempe back in February. After an hour of talking politics, the man says Ledford smashed a pint glass over his head.

"Slowly it just started getting weirder and weird," Sid said. "And all of a sudden, within a span of like five minutes, he just like, flipped."

"If you're a teacher, you should be able to at least listen to another person's side," Sid said. "And his immediate reaction was to smash a glass over my head and just get violent."

Police say Ledford left the bar immediately, but they did have him come in later that day to make a statement. They say Ledford admits to being heavily intoxicated during the argument. The man involved says he needed 13 staples for his head wound.

"I just lost my job that weekend," Sid said. "So without health insurance [and] going to the emergency room, these bills are piling up."

Why did it take more than two months to arrest Ledford? Police say there was no probable cause at the time the incident was reported despite speaking to multiple witnesses. The man said he'll be more cautious at bars in the future.

"I mean, I'll definitely stray away from political discussions in the future, that's for sure," Sid said.

We've reached out to ASU. Officials say this issue is in the hands of police and Ledford's department will determine what actions need to be taken, if any, depending on the outcome of the case.