A Rand Paul supporter is being ordered to appear in court to face an assault charge after he was caught on camera stomping on a liberal activist.
NEWSFIRST talked with the two men at the center of the whole ordeal. The man who is accused of stomping on the woman has been identified as Tim Profitt a former volunteer with Mr. Paul's U.S. Senate campaign. The other man, Mike Pezzano, wrestled the activist to the ground after she tried to confront the Tea Party candidate.
On the same day the Paul campaign ran a full page newspaper ad displaying supporters' names, the group moved fast to disassociate itself from one of those names, Tim Profitt. When we spoke to Profitt, he asked that his face not appear on camera, but he wanted to defend himself. "She's a professional at what she does," Profitt said, referring to the MoveOn.org activist, "and I think when all the facts come out, I think people will see that she was the one that initiated the whole thing."
The woman, 23-year-old Lauren Valle from Washington D.C., appeared to be following a specific set of instructions detailed on MoveOn.org's website designed to attract media attention. Profitt claims he believed Paul was in danger from the woman and that he acted to protect the candidate, but the campaign has condemned Profitt's actions. "I put my foot on her, and I did push her down at the very end, and I told her to stay down," Proffitt said, "I actually put my foot on her to... I couldn't bend over because I have issues with my back."
Lexington Police began an assault investigation identifying Profitt as a suspect. "Well I'll just say it, if the police had done what they were supposed to do, it would have never happened," Profitt said.
The Paul campaign is not alone in its reaction. Another man involved in the altercation, Mike Pezzano, who held down Ms. Valle, tells NEWSFIRST he doesn't condone Profitt's actions. Valle has said she believes Paul supporters planned an attack on her. Pezzano asked not to appear on camera for an interview, but he denies that accusation and says he barely knows Profitt and didn't even know Profitt was there. As for Profitt, he remains defiant. "I don't think it's that big of a deal," Profitt said.
And when asked if he would apologize to Valle. "I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you," Profitt said.
A spokesperson for MoveOn.org says Lauren Valle has been released from the hospital and is recovering from injuries including a concussion and a sprained shoulder and arm.