Spokesperson for Navajo Nation Council arrested after being injured by relative

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GALLUP, NM — The communications director for the Navajo Nation Council has been arrested for allegedly injuring a relative at his Gallup home, the Gallup Independent reported.

Alray Nelson, 36, faces charges of aggravated assault and evading or obstructing an officer, the newspaper reported. Nelson is the spokesperson for the tribe’s legislative branch and is also the executive director of Navajo Nation Pride, a group that advocates for lawmakers on the reservation to legalize same-sex marriage.

According to court documents, Nelson pushed one of his relatives down a flight of stairs on Monday, which caused that person to hit his head on a glass coffee table and was briefly knocked unconscious. The relative was taken by ambulance to a local hospital and treated, the Gallup Independent reported.

A Gallup police officer had responded to a call of a possible domestic disturbance at Nelson’s home and saw a large hole in the wall in front of a stairwell. Nelson’s injured relative was on the ground, according to a criminal complaint.

The police officer said Nelson refused to speak without an attorney present, according to court documents.

Nelson told The Associated Press he was released from prison on Thursday, but declined to comment on the matter except to say “I feel remorseful and I’m sorry this happened.”

The Navajo Nation’s legislative branch did not immediately respond to a message left Thursday by the AP.

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