‘Why should I resign?’: Florida GOP official refuses to quit after being outed for claw-hammer attack on teen
A member of the Broward County GOP is refusing to step down after horrified fellow Republicans discovered he pleaded down to misdemeanor charges of attacking a high school classmate with a claw hammer over a decade ago.
According to the Miami-Herald, Rupert Tarsey was outed over the Labor Day weekend to GOP Chairman Bob Sutton for an assault at the Los Angeles Harvard-Westlake School. Tarsey attacked classmate Elizabeth Barcay, hitting her over the head at least 40 times with a claw hammer.
Police records state that Tarsey invited Barcay — the daughter of a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon — to go with him to a Jamba Juice where he allegedly pulled the claw hammer from his backpack and began hitting her with it before choking her and dumping her out of the car.
Following the assault, Tarsey’s parents had him admitted for psychiatric evaluation, with the then-teen claiming he was protecting himself from the young woman.
At the time Tarsey went by the name Rupert Ditsworth before changing his last name to his mother’s maiden name after this attempted murder charge was pleaded down to a misdemeanor.
Moving to Florida, Tarsey became involved in local politics — and threw his support behind now-President Donald Trump — before being elected to the Broward County broad as secretary.
Tarsey has refused calls for him to step down, calling complaints about his history “party politics.”
“Why should I resign,” he stated in an interview at his $2 million beachfront home. “I did nothing wrong and I was elected. ”
According to Tarsey — a real estate investor — he wasn’t trying to hide his violent past when he changed his name, simply saying, “I’m estranged from my dad.”
Broward GOP Chairman Sutton pleaded innocent about knowing about Tarsey’s history of violence, saying: “We were blindsided. He’s a member of the Knights of Columbus for Christ’s sake. And he came highly recommended by the former chair.”
‘We had no idea what his background is,” Sutton continued. “We want him out but he is refusing to resign. He deceived us. It looks like he even used a reputation management firm to make sure we wouldn’t find out who he is.”