The wife of Casper City Manager John Patterson will press charges against a man who hit her during a council meeting on Tuesday, he said.

Cindy Patterson was in the audience during a sometimes contentious meeting during which some citizens objected to the council's handing of certain items on the agenda.

After a group of those citizens left the meeting, she went to the lobby outside chambers as well. She was on the phone to her husband, who had stepped outside the meeting to use the bathroom.

While in the lobby, she snapped a photo of a group of people who had been very vocal during the meeting.

One of the men in a group walked up and began a confrontation, she says. She told her husband that the man hit her on the shoulder with his hand while holding some papers.

John Patterson came into council chambers and yelled that he could not believe what was happening in this city, that his wife had just been assaulted.

Many of the council members, city staff and citizens went outside where Cindy Patterson was crying, talking to her husband and to Casper Police Chief Jim Wetzel.

A television reporter, who was interviewing a Realtor about a proposed subdivision -- an issue not related to the controversial ones brought up during the meeting, was able to get a picture of the man and his car.

Wetzel declined to comment on the case, saying Casper police have turned over the investigation to the Natrona County Sheriff's Office to avoid perceptions of a conflict of interest.

A sheriff's deputy, who had been speaking with the Pattersons, declined to comment.

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