DALLAS — Months after being charged with a third-degree felony, Dallas Councilman Kevin Felder talked to WFAA briefly about retaining his council seat in District 7 and shared how he's holding up following the media frenzy that came once his criminal case was filed.
"There's nothing to hold up," Felder said. "I'm doing very well. I'm a resilient person, I'm not down at all."
A TOUGH FEBRUARY
Felder, who turned himself in to police on a warrant in February, faces a charge of accident involving injury, a third-degree felony. He's accused of leaving the scene of an accident involving an e-scooter rider.
The incident happened Feb. 13 on Malcolm X Boulevard in South Dallas.
The victim, an 18-year-old man, told police he was riding the scooter south on Malcolm X, near Coombs Street, when he was hit from behind by a 2011 Ford Fusion that was also heading south in the right lane.
The victim said he was thrown from the scooter, suffered an abrasion and bleeding on his left arm as well as pain and swelling on his right arm, according to the affidavit.
He then pulled the scooter from beneath the Ford Fusion and then got into a verbal dispute with Felder, who had stayed in the car and rolled down his front passenger's side window.
During the argument, a witness heard Felder yell to the victim: "Do you know who I am?!" according to the affidavit.
Felder then drove away, according to the victim and the witness. A second witness at a nearby building told police he saw the accident and that the driver "quickly left," the affidavit said.
Investigators then confirmed that Felder owned the Ford Fusion involved in the accident. Police, in the affidavit, noted damage to the front right corner of the car's bumper, near the tire.
After a council meeting, Felder was chased by TV cameras and reporters asking for comment in the parking garage of city hall.
The footage was played for days as court documents related to the case became public.
Felder has denied any wrongdoing and his attorney has told WFAA that his client is innocent.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
Felder is now on the campaign trail and is stumping for votes to retain his seat in District 7 when the general election is held in May. This is his first term in office.
He's in a crowded race with eight other candidates, but while talking about a string of crimes in his district today, Felder said that didn't bother him.
"The Bible says you shouldn't worry about anything at all, so I follow the words of the Bible," Felder said. "Every campaign I've been in, there have been seven or eight people so this is normal for me."
WFAA asked Felder if support has grown or waned since he was charged.
"My support is strong, you can look up and down this street and do you see any other signs on the street other than mine?" Felder said. "I am cautiously optimistic about my campaign."
"But what about your case?" WFAA asked.
"You keep asking that, and that is not what this is about. That is not an issue with the voters. As I've gone door to door, very few people have brought that up. You've brought this up more in this particular conference than me walking door-to-door in two to three hours."
JIM'S CAR WASH
Felder held a press conference Tuesday near Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
During his time on the council, Felder has pushed to get a nearby business, Jim's Car Wash, shut down.
Dallas Police told WFAA Tuesday that the car wash is a place where many habitually congregate late at night to drink, play loud music and do drugs.
On June 19th, council members will meet with the owner of the car wash, who Felder said has been operating without a proper permit, and give him a deadline for when he must shutter his doors.
Felder has asked for more police patrols in the area after nearby neighbors, who supported the closing of the car wash in public hearings, informed Felder that their homes and cars were recently vandalized.
Per Felder, bricks were thrown into cars and some homes were egged.
"Residents think that this is retaliation to my direct actions to shut down the car wash," Felder said. "So we're holding a press conference in hopes of abating these actions."
The owner of the car wash, Dale Davenport, gave us his reaction to Felder's comments on Wednesday.
"In the past 26 years, I have only had one ticket for trash and that ticket was dismissed," Davenport said.
"We have nothing to do with what Felder is talking about."
Davenport said that neighbors have the right to say whatever they like about his business and that he frequently calls police about activity around his property.
He said he welcomes the increased patrols.