LaFayette High School's former principal, Michael Lee Culberson, was arrested Sept. 10 following a fight with one of his neighbors in Rock Spring.

A deputy dispatched at about 6 p.m. to investigate a fight at 200 Hunting Ridge Circle arrived to find a woman holding a rifle in a non-life threatening manner.

Not knowing if other weapons were involved, the officer drew his own shotgun and ordered the suspects to keep their hands visible and remain still.

A witness said Culberson had driven past their home, yelling profanities, making obscene gestures and revving his truck's engine. The witness told the deputy that his father became agitated by Culberson's behavior and approached Culberson's property.

The deputy reports that Culberson admitted revving his engine while driving by his neighbor and showed him cell phone video of his neighbor, Arther Roy Berry, approaching and striking him (Culberson) in the face.

The two continued to argue and Berry's son tried pulling his father away from Culberson's truck.

Berry walked to the back yard. Culberson followed and continued to provoke a fight with Berry before charging him. Culberson resumed recording the altercation as he put Berry in a headlock while sitting on him.

The witness is heard on the video saying "get off my father" and "he can't breath" and is seen hitting Culberson as he tried separating the two.

The report states that a woman also tried to pull Culberson off of Berry.

On the recording, Culberson is heard saying he is "in (my) yard" and is "justified" and that he would release Berry if the man would leave him alone.

Berry was arrested at the scene and charged with fighting.

Culberson requested medical attention and fell to the ground when medics arrived. He was taken to the hospital and later went to the sheriff's department where he was arrested for affray and disorderly conduct. The report states that the arrest of Culberson was due to him provoking the fight — even after Berry had walked away — as well as being the initial instigator of the fight. He was charged with fighting and disorderly conduct.

Josh O'Bryant is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He can be reached at the Walker County Messenger office at 706-638-1859 and by email at