Fight breaks out during early voting at Jessamine Co. courthouse



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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – Chaos ensued at a Jessamine County polling site tonight, and it was caught on camera.

What started as an argument over social distancing quickly led to two people taken away in handcuffs.

The tension at the polls had nothing to do with the candidates, though. As 4 p.m. hit and the doors to the polling site at the Jessamine County Courthouse locked, officials moved the rest of the line inside the building.

But it was too close for comfort for one voter.

Kimberly Hensley saw the situation escalating and watched officers move in to calm things down.

“I can understand his perspective on the situation but they were making sure everybody was distanced they were making sure everybody had their mask on, they were just more worried about everyone standing out in the cold,” Hensley said.

She recorded the whole thing on her phone, catching officers escorting the man, 47-year-old Mark Stello outside, and his 22-year-old Shai Stello refusing to leave.

That’s when things turned physical. Lt. Anthony Purcell with the Jessamine County Sheriff’s Office says Shai Stello swung at officers. They got her outside and to the ground before handcuffing her.

Meanwhile, the father shoved his hand into his pocket in an “aggressive manner.” Purcell said the deputy thought he was pulling out a weapon, so the officer pulled his gun before realizing it was a cell phone and immediately re-holstering his gun.

“In my opinion that’s kind of what I thought too until the cop actually pointed it out that it was a cell phone so I’m in fear for everybody because I’m thinking oh no this about to go left real quick,” Hensley said.

It’s something Hensley never expected to see while casting her ballot, but poll workers handled the added election stress the best they could.

“He stood there for a while and endured some words that I probably would have been ready to fight someone over, but that gentleman handled himself very very well,” Hensley said.

Mark and Shai Stello were arrested and charged with second degree disorderly conduct.

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