PROVO — Payson City Councilman Scott Phillips has been charged with assault after an alleged confrontation with two men he caught spraying his pickup truck with graffiti.

Phillips was charged Monday with two counts of class B misdemeanor simple assault.

Prosecutors say Phillips grabbed two men by the back of the neck when he caught them spray painting his truck.

A councilman for more than two years, Phillips says he did grab the men, but he didn't strike or hit them. He says he should be allowed to protect his property.

The 45-year-old Phillips is set for arraignment July 3 in Spanish Fork's 4th District Court.