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Navajo Nation Council spokesman arrested after relative hurt

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GALLUP, N.M. (AP) — The communications director for the Navajo Nation Council has been arrested for allegedly injuring a relative at his Gallup home, the Gallup Independent reported.

Alray Nelson, 36, is facing charges of aggravated battery, and evading or obstructing an officer, the newspaper reported. Nelson serves as the spokesman for the tribe’s legislative branch and also is the executive director of Navajo Nation Pride, a group that has been advocating for lawmakers on the reservation to legalize gay marriage.

According to court documents, Nelson pushed one of his relatives down a set of stairs Monday, causing that person to hit their head on a glass coffee table and was briefly knocked unconscious. The relative was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and treated, the Gallup Independent reported.

A Gallup police officer had responded to a call of a possible domestic disturbance at Nelson’s home and saw a large hole in the wall in front of a stairwell. Nelson’s injured relative was on the floor, according to a criminal complaint.

The police officer said Nelson declined to speak without an attorney present, according to court documents.

Nelson told The Associated Press he was released from jail Thursday but declined to comment on the case, other than to say “I am remorseful and sorry this happened.”

The Navajo Nation legislative branch did not immediately respond to a message left Thursday by the AP.

Article Topic Follows: AP Arizona

The Associated Press

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