A volunteer for Rand Paul’s Senate campaign has been charged with misdemeanor assault after being filmed stomping on a progressive activist’s head during a debate, Kentucky news sources report.
Timothy Profitt of Bourbon County, Kentucky, has admitted to being the person seen stomping on MoveOn activist Lauren Valle’s head and shoulder as she tried to hand Paul a mock award.
Profitt will appear in front of a judge on Nov. 18 to face fourth-degree assault charges, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader. He faces a maximum 12-month prison sentence or $500 fine.
The incident happened Monday night during a debate between Paul, the Republican candidate, and his Democratic opponent, Jack Conway.
Valle said she represented “Republicorp,” a creation of the activist group Moveon.org, and was trying to give Paul a faux “employee of the month” award when his supporters took her to the ground.
According to court documents cited by the Herald-Leader, Valle sustained a minor concussion, bruising and a sprained arm.
A statement issued by Paul’s camp this week condemned the attack on Valle and said, “Violence of any kind has no place in our civil discourse and we urge supporters on all sides to be civil to one another as tensions rise heading toward this very important election.”
But Paul wasn’t as quick to describe the incident as violence when he appeared on Fox News Tuesday.
“There was a bit of a crowd control problem,” Paul told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. “I don’t want anybody though to be involved in things that aren’t civil.”
Later in the week, Profitt told a local CBS station that he felt Valle should apologize to him, not the other way around.
“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” Profitt said. “I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you.”
Paul’s opponent, Jack Conway, has called on Paul to apologize for the incident and return $1,950 in donations to his campaign from Profitt. The Paul campaign has refused, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal.
– With prior reporting from David Edwards and Diane Sweet