A former Indiana city councilman was charged Friday for allegedly beating and holding his girlfriend hostage for 16 hours, police say. Ex-Lake County councilman Jamal Washington was charged with five counts criminal confinement, domestic battery, and intimidation in an incident involving LaVetta Sparks-Wade, a Gary city councilwoman. Newly filed court records say that on Tuesday, Washington struck Sparks-Wade several times with his fists, hitting her on the lip, while holding her hostage for nearly 16 hours and forcing her to call in sick from work. Police responded to the scene just after 8 a.m. Wednesday, when Sparks-Wade escaped their bedroom and texted a friend and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for help, court records show.
“[Sparks-Wade] stated she feared for her life, and Jamal ‘lunged forward’ at her during this incident causing her to beg him not to strike her anymore,” Gary Police Detective Robin Bolde wrote in the affidavit just after Washington’s arrest Wednesday. Lake Superior Court Magistrate Judge Kathleen Sullivan ordered that Washington be held without bond Friday morning.