Darby mayor arrested, accused of attacking councilmember during meeting

A Delaware County mayor is facing charges after he allegedly attacked a Councilmember during a contentious meeting earlier this month. 

Darby Borough Mayor Darren Burrell is accused of punching Councilmember Omar Thompson, knocking him to the ground, during a Nov. 2 meeting. 

Burrell, 41, turned himself in to police on assault charges and was later released on bail, but ordered to stay away from Thompson. 

Thompson is said to have gone to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital for dizziness after the alleged assault. He offered no comment on the incident during a Wednesday council meeting.


His attorney claims a "barrage of expletives and homophobic slurs" were hurled at Thompson by the mayor during the assault. 

"I want to make it clear there is no excuse for violence in the body or in this life," Darby Council President Rudolph Taylor III said.

Darby Borough shared a statement that called the alleged attack "a dark day in Darby's history." 

"There is no excuse for violence in this body or in public life," the statement read in part. "The men and women who sit on this podium sometimes engage in vigorous debate about contentious issues, but we must always remain civil."

Members of the LGBTQ community went to Wednesday's meeting to call for Burrell's resignation. 

"The mayor should not be a mayor anymore. Homophobia is not okay. Violence is not okay. Especially, from an elected official," LGBTQ Activist Maleata Rajin

Meanwhile, Darby residents are asking for the video recording of the alleged assault to be released to the public.

"This is a public building. This is a public area. And, that camera recorded that incident when the mayor jumped up and went after Councilmember Thompson," a resident said.