DFW Airport Police arrested a man Thursday, Oct. 23, after the suspect called another man a faggot, punched him and kicked him in the crotch. McCleish Christmas Benham, 27, of Shelbyville, Tenn., has been charged with public intoxication and simple assault. (You can see video of the fight below.)
According to police reports, the problem apparently started when Benham got angry with an American Airlines gate agent who was trying to help him with his flight arrangements. He “became belligerent and began cursing at her.” Another passenger, described in reports as an “older white male” but whose name was not released by police, said he had seen Benham “verbally assaulting” the gate agent. He said he told Benham that police were on their way, and that he needed to calm down. Benham, instead of taking that advice, reportedly called the man a “San Francisco faggot” and punched him in the eye.
Benham then started to threaten a different male passenger when the first man again warned him to calm down or the police would arrest him. At that point, Benham “kicked him in the groin and punched him in the head.”
That’s when a group of “approximately three to five male passengers” decided to take matters into their own hands. They tackled Benham to the floor and held him there until Officer Derrick Niblett arrived. “i intervened to control the situation, but the subject in question [Benham] continued to struggle with me and the unidentified passengers while he was on the floor.” A second officer arrived and the two policemen were able to subdue Benham and handcuff him. “The subject continued to be belligerent as Officer Mister and I assisted him to his feet. As the subject was talking, I noticed his speech was slurred. I also noticed that he had glossy, blood shot eyes,” Officer Niblett wrote in his report. “The subject was deemed to be a danger to himself and to others and was placed under arrest for public intoxication and simple assault.”
A quick Internet search shows that this isn’t “Mac” Benham’s first brush with the law. He was jailed on Sept. 19, 2013 in Bedford County, Tenn. (where Shelbyville is located) on charges of property theft. Another report indicates that in October 2012, also in Bedford County, Benham was arrested for “failure to appear.”
He has also been in trouble with the US Department of Agriculture at least twice for violations of the Horse Protection Act for allegedly mistreating Tennessee Walking horses he was supposed to be training. He was charged for “soring” a horse named Major General’s Ritz in the 43rd Annual National Walking Horse Show held March 18, 2011 in Shelbyville, and again for doing the same to a horse named “Willie Twilight” on Aug. 31, 2012, at the 74th Annual Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, also in Shelbyville.
Benham was disqualified from showing horses for six months, from Feb. 21 to Aug. 20 this year, because of the “soring” charges against him.
According to the USDA website, “Soring is a cruel and abusive practice used to accentuate a horse’s gait. It is accomplished by irritating or blistering a horse’s forelegs with chemical irritants (such as mustard oil) or mechanical devices. Walking horses are known for possessing a naturally high gait, but in order to be more successful in competitions their natural gait will often be exaggerated. The exaggerated gait can be achieved through proper training and a considerable time commitment, but some horse exhibitors, owners and trainers use improper and inhumane training methods to shortcut the process.”