Victim says attack was premeditated: Paul supporters surrounded her, talked about how to ‘take someone out’
If there were more than just a week left until Election Day, “the Curbstomper” might have become a campaign meme.
A man who stomped on a progressive activist’s head — identified by police and fellow tea party activists as Rand Paul campaign volunteer Tim Profitt — had his name featured on the campaign’s newspaper ad that occupied the entire back page of Kentucky’s Herald Leader on Tuesday.
Profitt has been served with a criminal summons by Kentucky authorities, according to local reports. The Paris, KY resident will be required to appear before a judge in Fayette County.
His partner in the assault, tea party activist Mike Pezzano — who actually wore a “Don’t Tread on Me” sticker as Proffit stomped the woman’s head — has not yet been targeted by law enforcement.
Republican Senate hopeful Rand Paul has cut all ties with the man, who has been affectionately dubbed “the Curbstomper” by Kentucky liberal blog Barefoot and Progressive.
That same blog was first to notice that the Paul campaign had printed Profitt’s name on their recent advertisement.
Lauren Valle, his victim and a longtime MoveOn and Greenpeace activist, suffered a concussion and a sprained shoulder.
Valle said she represented “Republicorp,” a creation of MoveOn, and was trying to give Paul a faux “employee of the month” award when his supporters took her to the ground. She claimed to have never been within five feet of the candidate.
Though a statement from the Paul campaign insisted that “violence of any kind has no place in our civil discourse,” Paul took to Fox News on Tuesday and didn’t call the incident an assault: he labeled it a “crowd control problem.”
“And it is an unusual situation to have so many people so passionate on both sides jockeying back and forth,” he said.
After the man was identified as a volunteer for the Paul campaign, the tea party favorite released an even stronger statement condemning the assault.
“The Paul for Senate campaign is extremely disappointed in, and condemns the actions of a supporter last night outside the KET debate,” their statement reads. “Whatever the perceived provocation, any level of aggression or violence is deplorable, and will not be tolerated by our campaign. The Paul campaign has disassociated itself from the volunteer who took part in this incident, and once again urges all activists — on both sides — to remember that their political passions should never manifest themselves in physical altercations of any kind.”
Contacted by media, Valle spoke out about the assault on Tuesday afternoon.
“What happened last night was that about five minutes before Rand Paul’s car arrived they identified me and my partner, Alex, who was with me,” she explained. “They surrounded me. There was five of them. They motioned to each other and got behind me. My partner Alex heard them say ‘We are here to do crowd control we might have to take someone out.’
“When Rand Paul’s car arrived a couple of them stepped in front of me so I stepped off the curb to get around them to get back out front. At that point they started grabbing for me and I ran all the way around the car with them in pursuit. The footage is after I’ve run all the way around the car and I’m in front of the car and that is when they took me down. One or two people twisted my arms behind my back and took me down… It was about two-to-three second after that that another person stomped on my head. And I lay there for 20 seconds or so and my partner Alex came and got me up and that’s the point where there is the media clip of me speaking.”
Valle was scheduled to appear on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Tuesday night to discuss her ordeal. RAW STORY has video of the incident, available here.
Recent polling showed that Paul, a tea party favorite, was leading Democrat Jack Conway 53-40%.
This ad ran on the back page of the Herald Leader newspaper in Kentucky. (Click for a larger image; Profitt’s name is on the bottom left.)