On Thursday, Watson addressed a group of ministers gathered for a T-SPLOST meeting at This Is It restaurant on Panola Road.
Watson took a break from pushing the T-SPLOST referendum on the July 31 ballot to briefly discuss the July 12 incident.
“I’ll address that because most of the ministers here are my friends,” he said.
As he spoke, Watson didn’t specify what he was apologizing for. But he was pretty clear about what he was not apologizing for.
“I’m one of those frustrated deacons,” he said. “Every now and then, I’ll take a drink. And I had some things that happened on Tuesday, the 12th that was a result of my sister passing on the 10th and I had went out and had a couple of drinks. I’m not ashamed of that. Peter drank and he cussed. So don’t, don’t beat me with a Bible, OK?”
Some members of the audience chuckled.
For many years, Watson was a deacon at his former church, New Piney Grove Baptist. He said he is a deacon in training at his new church, which he did not want identified.
Later he said his “frustrated deacon” comment was made as a joke among friends.
Watson also told the group of about 30 ministers and community leaders that he had apologized to the voters and his family.
“And I apologize to you, and I’m through with it,” he told the ministers. “If they want to investigate, do whatever, then that’s on them.”
DeKalb police said in a statement that the department’s internal affairs unit is investigating how officers handled the incident at the Tanqueray Lounge on Glenwood Road.
Watson was seated at the bar when police Officer O.B. Parker, who was working security, heard him accuse a female bartender of stealing his wallet, according to Parker’s police report. When she said she didn’t have it, he accused a second woman of stealing his wallet and passing it to another woman, the report said.
When Watson exited the club, he reportedly yelled, “I’m gonna act a f-----g fool in the morning” and “One of those two b-----s stole my wallet.”
One of the women was briefly arrested for ignoring Parker’s warnings to calm down.
Parker reported that Watson had slurred speech, an unsteady walk and glossy red eyes. He said he told Watson he had seen him drink several alcoholic beverages and told him not to drive the white Mercedes he entered. Watson said he wouldn’t drive, according to Parker, who called a supervisor to the scene.
After the supervisor, Sgt. M.B. Porter, arrived, Parker said he saw Watson pull out of the parking lot and travel eastbound on Glenwood Road.
Porter and two other officers attempted to catch up with him but could not locate him, Parker reported.
About a minute later, Watson pulled back into the parking lot, exited his vehicle and said, “I am going to let someone take me home,” the report said.
Watson was allowed to leave the bar “due to circumstances beyond my control,” Parker wrote, without elaboration.
Watson responded angrily to questions about the incident in an interview Thursday night.
He said he did not do anything wrong, that he’s apologizing as a public official in case he appears to anyone to have done something wrong.
“I was not drunk driving or anything like that,” he said. “ I got a little disoriented because I lost my wallet. I was not arrested. I didn’t kill anybody. I didn’t shoot anybody. I haven’t been charged with anything.”
Watson admits that he left the parking lot.
“Yeah, I did leave and I came back,” he said, “because I thought they’d arrest me for drunk driving.”