Rand Paul, Jack Conway Supporters Involved In Post-Debate Assault Incidents

After the fireworks of their previous encounter, last night’s Rand Paul-Jack Conway debate was relatively quiescent (probably because it was hosted by Louisville’s PBS affiliate rather than the station that carries the WWE), but the action outside was a different story:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB Fox 41) — Outside the Conway-Paul debate, a Rand Paul supporter pulled the woman’s blonde wig off and stomped on her head. She was representing the liberal organization MoveOn.org and claimed to be presenting Paul with an award from RepubliCorp. That’s a group created by MoveOn.org that focuses on what it calls the merger between corporate America and the Republican Party.

“I’m here to present Rand Paul with the ‘Employee of the Month’ award, however his supporters were not very nice to me and my message which is same as everyone else. I got my head stepped on and I have a bit of a headache,” said Lauren Valle, MoveOn.org.

Video:

This story seems to be getting more coverage in the blogosphere and the national press than it is in Kentucky, and the relative lack of seriousness of  the offense is reflected in this story, which reveals that there were actually two incidents outside the debate last night:

According to the Lexington Police Department, two fights broke out during the course of the Conway/Paul Senatorial debate Monday night in Lexington, Ky.

The first fight involved a woman, who is a member of www.moveon.org . The woman, determined to pose in front of Rand Paul holding a sign that read “Rand Paul Republicore: Employee of the Month,” tripped and fell on the ground after someone grabbed her blonde wig off her head.

She was then stepped on by a man wearing a Rand Paul t-shirt. Police say she refused treatment and later filed an assault report. Her identity has not yet been released.

The second fight occurred after a Conway supporter stepped on the foot of a female Rand supporter, who recently had foot surgery.

The woman was wearing a surgical boot, but after the injury, her incision was cut open. Police say she refused medical treatment and also filed an assault report.

No arrests were made in either incident, although it’s conceivable that charges could be filed in the future.

Many on the left have tried to make something of this incident since last night. Obviously, though, what we’re dealing with are two jerks who acted rudely and possibly criminally. Can we please not turn everything into a political cause?

Update: Lexington police have apparently identified Tim Proffit as the assailant. He was a (now former) County-level coordinator for the campaign and has apparently issued an apology for the incident. Criminal charges are pending, and this matter will be resolved in the court system where it belongs.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. sam says:

    “the relative lack of seriousness of the offense is reflected”

    Are you nuts? Look at the video again. She’s pulled down by one guy, held by another, and then the third guy steps on her neck. That’s not serious battery?

  2. sam,

    The fact that on-scene arrests weren’t made is the reason I phrased it that way. If it were truly a “serious assault” (in Virginia we call it malicious wounding and it’s a felony) then someone would’ve been taken away in handcuffs.

    I may have phrased it incorrectly. Clearly, if there was a crime here the guy should be prosecuted.

  3. sam says:

    I’ve read that they’ve not been able to identify the guy who stepped on her neck, yet. Actually, if you look, stepped and push down rather hard.That, to me, is pure battery and actionable.

  4. Vast Variety says:

    The guy in the blue shirt very defiantly deliberately steps on and pushes down on the woman’s neck.

    “Can we please not turn everything into a political cause?”

    Unfortunately, both sides do it all the time.

  5. Franklin says:

    HuffPost has a great headline for this: Don’t Tread On Me!

  6. Tano says:

    So tackling a woman, and stomping on her neck is equivalent to stepping on someone’s foot? Which, for all we know, may well have been done totally unintentionally given the context of a milling crowd?

    You seem to be straining enormously to hold some middle ground against what you portray as equally nutso jerks on either side, but the facts do not support this at all, and that makes you seem like an apologist for blatant thuggery.

  7. […] Rand Paul, Jack Conway Supporters Involved In Post-Debate Assault Incidents (outsidethebeltway.com) […]

  8. Tano,

    Arrest the guy, prosecute him, and let him be tried in court.

    I’m just not going to play into anyone’s effort to try to make a political point off of the actions of one idiot

  9. narciso says:

    If it’s asault prosecute him, should be fairly easy to establish, boundaries do seem to be her problem though;http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/10/unhinged-rand-paul-attacker-lauren-valle-is-professional-far-left-activist/

  10. And were I the defense attorney in Lexington KY that gets this case, the word that I’d be repeating over and over would be “provocation”

  11. sam says:

    Ah, c’mon, Doug. And if I were the prosecutor, I’d point out that she’s what, 5 feet a few inches, about 110 pounds, and the guy who stepped on her, when she was on the ground face down — what provoking the sidewalk — is what, 6 feet plus, 220 + pounds? And he seems to come out of nowhere when she’s on the ground to do the stepping. Some provocation there. BTW, this does seem a tad escalated vis a vis handcuffing someone, right?

  12. I’m not saying it’d work sam, but that’s where I’d start…….

    Assuming I get paid of course 🙂

  13. Herb says:

    I don’t know… my first instinct when seeing this isn’t “Man, I hope someone on the left doesn’t use this to score political points.” And if it were, I’d question my decency as a human being.

    Provocation or not, I think big burly men have a responsibly NOT to beat up little misguided women, even if they’re activists for Moveon.org.

  14. wr says:

    Herb — Big burly men supporting Tea Party candidates actually have a responsibility to beat up little women who disagree with their politics. It’s called freedom. Haven’t you read the constitution?

  15. mantis says:

    The fact that on-scene arrests weren’t made is the reason I phrased it that way. If it were truly a “serious assault” (in Virginia we call it malicious wounding and it’s a felony) then someone would’ve been taken away in handcuffs.

    Yes, because all crimes lead to arrests, and all criminals meet justice! Always! Especially in Kentucky!

    Seriously Doug, you’re a lawyer? From this planet?

  16. john personna says:

    Talk about the worst possible public position one could take – that injury to a woman at a political rally (no matter how it happened) is no big deal.

    I wouldn’t post that kind of nonsense under a pseudonym, let alone under a real name. Astonishing.

    Astonishing because the high ground is so easy to stake out. Just say that violence has no place in American politics. Say that if that’s what it was, it never should have happened, and then move on.

    As soon as you take any other move, any apology or excuse, you bring that possible-violence and those possible-thugs into your tent. You identify yourself with them. You say you don’t want to let them go. You can’t quit them.

    Sad.

  17. John,

    I’ve already said that my word choice was probably inappropriate and overly legalistic. What else do you want ?

  18. john personna says:

    I was responding to the top-level feel of the piece. Given that postings like this live forever, you probably should edit/update. Not for me. For you.

  19. mantis says:

    So, umm, Doug?

    The Lexington Division of Police has identified a suspect in connection to the October 25, 2010 assault of a woman at 600 Cooper Drive.

    On the 25th, at approximately 7:00p.m., officers were alerted to an active assault at 600 Cooper Drive (Kentucky Educational Television Studios).

    Officers responded to the scene of the assault and made contact with the victim. She identified herself as a member of MoveOn.org and stated she was assaulted while attempting to take a picture with candidate Rand Paul. Division of Police patrol officers took an assault report and forwarded the case to the Division of Police Bureau of Investigation.

    Today, October 26, 2010, detectives identified the suspect, involved in the assault, as Tim Profitt. Mr. Profitt is currently being served with a criminal summons ordering him to appear before a Fayette County District Court Judge.

    Does the alleged assailant need to be “taken away in handcuffs” directly from the scene of the incident for it to be a real “serious assault” by your reckoning, or can he be arrested later? Does it only become a “serious assault” after the police have someone in custody?

  20. […] –Doug Mataconis notes here that there was also another incident: of a Conway supporter stepping on the foot of a woman who had foot surgery. […]

  21. john personna says:

    Wow, now we know that not only was the guy charged, he wasn’t just some guy. He was a County-level coordinator for the campaign at the time of the assault.

  22. Brian Knapp says:

    I was responding to the top-level feel of the piece. Given that postings like this live forever, you probably should edit/update. Not for me. For you.

    I don’t know. I think that Doug’s approach is appropriate. Editing is something of a no-no, at least content-wise (grammar notwithstanding).

    And I don’t think that the language is so misleading in its context as to lead a reader to believe that Doug believes that the act committed is not meaningful in a legal or moral sense. If he said something that didn’t have a particular legal value as his usage of “seriousness” does, then I would agree on an update.

    But, as it were, clarification in the comments satisfies me.

  23. […] Rand Paul, Jack Conway Supporters Involved In Post-Debate Assault Incidents (outsidethebeltway.com) (function() {var s = document.createElement('SCRIPT'), s1 = document.getElementsByTagName('SCRIPT')[0];s.type = 'text/javascript';s.async = true;s.src = 'http://widgets.digg.com/buttons.js';s1.parentNode.insertBefore(s, s1);})(); VN:F [1.9.6_1107]please wait…Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)GOP Blames Conway and Media for Head Stomping Incident, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating To quote @dufus, one of the respon­ders to a tweet I made on Twit­ter regard­ing the Rand Paul male sup­port­ersRead the Rest… Associated Press, attack, Democratic Party (United States), Ed Show, head stomp, Jack Conway, lauren valle, MoveOn.org, Rand Paul, Republican, twitter […]

  24. M. Bouffant says:

    As you seem to be an att’y., perhaps you could advise us if there is a “false equivalence” doctrine in the law?

    Or if a judge has ever advised you that two wrongs don’t make a right, especially if one of the wrongs could be an accident, & the other is clearly assault & battery?

  25. […] on People, writes libertarian blogger Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway: “This story seems to be getting more coverage in the blogosphere and […]

  26. […] yesterday police made an arrest in the incident I wrote about yesterday: A Rand Paul volunteer who allegedly stomped on a woman’s back and head during an altercation […]