GAINESVILLE – A part-time Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) instructor was arrested last Thursday after a scuffle outside of the Alachua County Republican Party headquarters. David P. McCally, a part-time American history instructor at SFCC, was arrested and charged with hitting local GOP chairman Travis Horn.

The 55-year-old McCally walked into the GOP headquarters on Main Street in Gainesville where he punched and knocked down a life-size cardboard cutout of President George W. Bush, according to Horn. Horn said McCally began screaming expletives as he left the GOP office and entered a nearby restaurant. But moments later, Horn said McCally “came back outside of the restaurant and sucker-punched me.”

According to a police report filed by the Gainesville Police Department, Horn then struck the six-foot three-inch, 250 pound McCally several times “in an effort to get way from him.” GPD officers apparently witnessed the incident between Horn and McCally. In the report, officers wrote they observed McCally “throw what we later learned was the first punch.” According to police, others witnessed the incident as well.

McCally was arrested and transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. McCally was later released from the hospital and officers booked him into jail at about 2 a.m. Friday morning. He was later released following a first appearance.

Horn said McCally’s punch left him with a busted lip and what he thought were bruised ribs. “When he blindsided me with that punch, it knocked me back,” Horn said, “I’m glad it was me that got hit and not one of our volunteers.”

SFCC spokesman Larry Keen said McCally had been placed on suspension with pay from the classroom pending a “thorough fact-finding investigation.

“Obviously, our first goal is the welfare of our students,” Keen said Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, the investigation is ongoing and Keen wouldn’t comment on the possible termination of McCally but did say a conviction of the filed charges “would carry a great amount of weight” in the college’s final decision.

McCally could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.