Local optometrist arrested for harassment

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Dr. Phillip Guthery / Cullman Police Department

CULLMAN – A local optometrist was arrested Friday on one count of harassment after a patient swore out an affidavit against him and a warrant was issued by the magistrate’s office.

Dr. Phillip Guthery, 66, a resident of Gardendale, was arrested at his place of business, the Family Eye Clinic, at 100 Seventh St. SW in Cullman.

According to court documents, Guthery allegedly grabbed the victim, described by police as “a female in her 50s or 60s,” by the face and kissed her, then “grabbed her breast and genital area.”

Cullman Police Sgt. David Nassetta, the lead investigator on the case, said, “We were able to corroborate enough to warrant the harassment charge.”

Nassetta was not able to disclose how the department corroborated the victim’s story.

The alleged incident took place at the eye clinic.

Nassetta says Guthery was arrested and bonded out on the same day.

According to part A of Section 13A-11-8 (A) of the Code of Alabama, 1975:

(a)(1) HARASSMENT. A person commits the crime of harassment if, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she either:

a. Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise touches a person or subjects him or her to physical contact.

b. Directs abusive or obscene language or makes an obscene gesture towards another person..

(2) For purposes of this section, harassment shall include a threat, verbal or nonverbal, made with the intent to carry out the threat, that would cause a reasonable person who is the target of the threat to fear for his or her safety.

(3) Harassment is a Class C misdemeanor.

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