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In an October confrontation at a Georgetown tattoo parlor, former D.C. Councilmember Harold Brazil pissed on the shop floor, according to testimony this morning in his trial on misdemeanor assault charges at D.C. Superior Court. His attorney argues that he was provoked in the most vile manner possible.

The public urination occurred in the midst of a melee at the shop, Jinx Proof (3285 1/2 M Street NW), involving Brazil, two female companions, and the shop’s employees. The incident began at about 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9, when Brazil entered Jinx Proof with his secretary and another woman of undetermined relation to Brazil (more details to come later!).

One of the women then went to the back of the shop to get a tattoo. Brazil and the other woman stayed in the front of the shop, waiting.

From that point on, stories diverge. The way the defense tells the story, the non-tattoo woman waiting in the front of the store heard a noise that made her uncomfortable about the treatment of the other woman. So she drifted back to the tattoo-making area to check on the situation. In doing so, she received a reprimand from the shopkeeper. The rule is that only tattoo patients can be in the back of the shop.

Tensions racheted up as the woman persisted in trying to reach the back of the store. No, you can’t go back there, scolded the shopkeeper.

Then Brazil intervened on behalf of his companions, setting up a confrontation with the shopkeeper. In the telling of Brazil’s attorney, G. Allen Dale, Brazil was insulted in a way that could only escalate matters. The shopkeeper, says Dale, shouted the following at Brazil: “Fuck you, nigger!”

In testimony this morning, the shopkeeper, Francis Peyton, told a different version of events, one in which Brazil acted belligerently and screamed at him—-“Fuck you, man!”—-when he tried to enforce the rules of the parlor. After that, says Peyton, Brazil got physical, pushing him and setting off the fight that landed this entire moment in a court of law.

As to the pissing issue, Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Dillon asked Peyton if he was certain that the former at-large councilmember had, in fact, made a puddle on the floor: Are you sure he wasn’t just emptying a water bottle? asked the prosecutor. Peyton responded that he was sure, given “from where it was coming and just the smell. For me it was easy to identify.”

Dale said that the shop employees “beat the piss” out of his client, noting that he had to seek medical treatment for his injuries.

More updates to come.

Reporting by Mike DeBonis from the courthouse.