TIFTON -- The former director of Tifton's Code Enforcement unit had been reprimanded by city officials before his June 22 resignation. Those reprimands stemmed from a prior domestic problem that led to an arrest, documents revealed Friday.

Michael Coleman, 50, of Tifton, was arrested on June 20 and charged with criminal trespassing after he was accused of breaking two windows out of the house of a woman he knew after she refused to come to the door. He was later arrested near Bank of America.

Coleman said that he broke the windows after the woman refused to come to the door because he was concerned for her welfare. He said that after seeing she was OK, he returned to his apartment at the Myon Hotel and was arrested nearby.

After submitting a Freedom of Information request to City Attorney Greg Sowell for Coleman's personnel file, the Gazette has learned of a previous incident in which Coleman and another woman had been arrested after a domestic violence call.

According to the incident report, Tifton Police officer Jason Klug responded around 5 p.m. on July 24, 2004. Upon arrival he found the woman sitting in the hallway of the residence bleeding from a scratch on the left side of her face.

She told Klug that Coleman had punched her in the face, "so I bit him in the neck to get him off me." Coleman said that "we had been swimming and drinking at the Town Terrace Motel" and that when they got home the woman began fighting and hitting Coleman before biting him in the neck. Coleman had called 911 over his radio.

Both were arrested and booked at the Tift County LEC.

It was for this incident that Coleman's then-supervisor Jason Lawrence issued a written reprimand.

The letter, signed by Coleman and dated July 30, 2004, states that "in light of the above referenced issue, as conditions of continued employment, you will be required to avoid future like instances."

Outside of this one written reprimand, Coleman's personnel file is free of any further reprimands or complaints.

To contact reporter JD Sumner, call 382-4321.

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