Man grabs, tries to 'force his way' into Memphis Mayor Paul Young's car outside restaurant

Memphis Mayor Paul Young was grabbed by a man who attempted to get into his vehicle Monday night at Folk’s Folly, City of Memphis Communications Director Penelope Huston confirmed to The Commercial Appeal Thursday evening.

Young’s security detail was able to prevent the man from getting into the vehicle, Huston said.

Huston also confirmed that a “small amount of pepper spray” was sprayed in the direction of the man as Young’s security detail tried to keep the man out of the car.

“The mayor and the mayor’s security detail had an interaction with a man who grabbed the mayor as he was leaving dinner and attempted to force his way into the mayor’s vehicle,” the city’s statement said. “The mayor’s security detail was able to prevent the man from entering the vehicle and the mayor was removed from the scene.”

The incident was first reported by The Daily Memphian.

Court records indicate James Banks, was arrested Monday night at Folk’s Folly. Banks is charged with disorderly conduct and public intoxication, both of which are misdemeanors.

An affidavit attached to Banks’ court records does not mention an altercation with Young, or his security detail, but said that police responded to a disorderly conduct call at Folk’s Folly just before 10 p.m. and found Banks “intoxicated and refusing to leave the property when requested.”

“Officers gave James multiple opportunities to leave the property, but he refused to leave,” the affidavit read. “Suspect James Banks was occupying a red Ford Mustang before officers’ arrival and he refused to drive away from the scene due to his being intoxicated. Officers observed suspect James Banks yelling and being irate while officers were advising him to leave the property. Suspect James Banks’ disturbance began to draw a huge crowd, and he refused to follow officers’ lawful orders.”

Lucas Finton is a criminal justice reporter with The Commercial Appeal. He can be reached at, or (901)208-3922, and followed on X, formerly known as Twitter, @LucasFinton.

This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Man tries to ‘force’ his way into Memphis Mayor Paul Young’s car

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