Former Ocean Springs mayor says events leading to arrest were “a big misunderstanding”

Former Ocean Springs mayor says events leading to arrest were “a big misunderstanding”
Former Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran was arrested and charged with public drunk. (Source: Jackson County Jail)

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Former Ocean Springs mayor Connie Moran was arrested late Monday night after an officer found her lying on her back on Washington Avenue. But Moran says the whole situation was “a big misunderstanding.”

According to the arresting officer, he spotted a woman in the road and got out to check on her. He didn’t immediately recognize her. He said Moran had removed her shoes and was disoriented when he woke her and that she was clearly intoxicated and unable to stand.

The officer said she initially didn’t even try to stand up and just laid on her back smiling. She asked the officer repeatedly what he was doing, and the officer responded that she was lying in the road and he was checking on her well being.

At this point, a second officer arrived to assist. Moran tried to stand but fell down, and the officers called Acadian Ambulance Service. When the medics arrived, they checked out Moran but she refused to be transported.

Moran tells a very different side of the story.

“I was at my house last night when this occurred," Moran said as tears interrupted parts of the conversation. “I walked down the driveway at the end of the road to call my pets to come inside. I slipped and hit my head on the concrete.”

Moran said her head and her right elbow hit the pavement.

“I think I had a slight concussion,” she said, though she admits she told responding officers she didn’t want to be taken to the hospital.

Moran admitted she had a few glasses of wine Monday night. But, she stressed she was drinking at her house.

“I wasn’t at a party,” she said. “I wasn’t falling down drunk. I did slip. It’s just a big misunderstanding. It was total overkill for the cops to arrest me. It was just an accident.”

Regarding the responding officers, “I’m grateful the cops stopped,” she said. “They could have walked me back up to my house instead of arresting me.”

Moran lives on Washington Avenue, and that’s where police arrested her.

“Why did they do that? I wasn’t driving. I was at my own house. I wasn’t endangering anybody. I was in the right of way, not in the middle of the street. I’m grateful they were there. The protocol sucks.”

Again, she stressed, “I think it’s a big misunderstanding.”

Over the weekend, Moran held a funeral for her mother. She was already emotional about her loss when the incident occurred, she got arrested, and people started to make nasty comments on social media.

“It’s unbelievable the haters out there,” she said. “The don’t know who I am.”

According to the Jackson County jail docket posted online, Moran was charged with one misdemeanor count of being drunk in public. A bond was set at $263.

Moran served as mayor of the Discovery City for 12 years. Current Mayor Shea Dobson won in a race against her in 2017. More recently, she ran for the Southern District’s Public Service Commissioner in 2019, losing that election to Pascagoula mayor Dane Maxwell.

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