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Suspect arrested in beating of Milwaukee mayor

A suspect has been arrested in connection with Saturday's beating of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, according to a report from a dispatcher over the police radio.

According to police scanners, squads in the second district picked up the suspect on the south side.

The police chiefs of Milwaukee and West Allis were scheduled to hold a joint press conference at 2 p.m. Sunday to discuss the status of the case.

Barrett was recovering Sunday morning after he was beaten with a pipe after leaving the Wisconsin State Fair with his family Saturday night.

The mayor is said to be in good condition this morning.

Patrick Curley, Barrett's chief of staff said the mayor was resting at the hospital Sunday morning. Although he could not give details on the injuries, Curley said there were "no signs of major trauma."

"He's exhausted obviously, but he's resting," Curley said. "All his vitals are good -- he can carry on brief conversations."

The incident occurred about 10:45 p.m. in the 8800 block of W. Orchard St. in West Allis, according to a joint statement from the West Allis police and Milwaukee police.

Barrett and his family were returning to their car when they saw an altercation and heard a woman shouting that someone should call 911. Barrett began calling 911 when the suspect who had been attacking the woman, ran toward Barrett and began striking him with a metal pipe.

The suspect then fled the scene who police said had a criminal arrest record.

Barrett was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The statement said he was alert and talking when he arrived.

The woman who originally called for help was not injured.

Barrett usually travels with a security detail when attending official events, according to Curley. As with many private affairs, the mayor chose not to have security with him at the Fair Saturday.

Curley said Common Council President Willie Hines had been briefed on the mayor's condition. Under the city's line of succession, Hines would take command if the mayor were unable to perform his duties for any reason.

A briefing on the incident is expected early this afternoon.

-- Copyright (c) 2009, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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