A Rand Paul supporter apologized Tuesday for stomping on the head of a MoveOn.org volunteer outside of a debate between the Kentucky Senate candidate and his opponent, Jack Conway. Paul, the Republican nominee, said the incident Monday night appeared to be a crowd control problem
, with partisans on both sides "jockeying back and forth."
But the woman, identified by CNN
as Lauren Valle, 23, was pushed to the ground -- her blond wig was pulled off in the scuffle -- and then held down. One man shouted for the police, but another -- later identified as Paul volunteer, Tim Profitt -- stepped on Valle's shoulder and then stomped down, his foot hitting her head. He backed off when someone else told him to stop. Valle stayed on the ground, motionless.
"These supporters were not very nice to me and my message, which is the same as everyone else. I just wanted to get out here with a sign, but I got my head stepped on," Valle told Louisville's Fox41. "I have a bit of a headache." (She later said her face was swollen and her neck and shoulder were sore.) Profitt said he was sorry. "I apologize if it appeared overly forceful," he told the Associated Press
, "but I was concerned about Rand's safety."
Profitt is expected to be served with a court summons, leaving it to a judge to decide whether he will be charged in the incident. The Paul campaign dropped him as its coordinator for Bourbon County in Central Kentucky and barred him from future campaign events, the AP said. There was no sign either candidate -- Paul or Conway, his Democratic rival -- witnessed the scuffle. Paul's campaign called the incident "incredibly unfortunate" 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." Paul, a physician, said Tuesday on Fox News
he didn't like what happened, but it was "an unusual situation to have so many people, so passionate on both sides, jockeying back and forth."
"There was a bit of a crowd control problem. I don't want anybody though to be involved in things that aren't civil," he said. "...It wasn't something that I liked or anybody liked about that situation. So I hope in the future it is going to be better."
MoveOn is a well known liberal group. CNN said a woman named Lauren Valle of Falmouth, Mass., was arrested in May with Greenpeace activists in Louisiana for painting anti-Arctic-drilling signs on a ship Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was about to board.
Watch the video of the incident in Lexington here.