DETAILS OF ASSAULT IN KENTUCKY COME TOGETHER…. Over the last few hours, we’ve learned quite a bit about the incident in Lexington last night, in which supporters of Senate candidate Rand Paul (R) grabbed a MoveOn activist, forced her to the ground, and at one point, literally stomped on her head as she lay helpless on the curb.
First, the victim, Lauren Valle, was diagnosed at the hospital with a concussion and a sprained arm and shoulder. She is, not surprisingly, pressing charges in the wake of the incident.
Second, multiple reports indicate we now also know who stomped on Valle’s head.
A volunteer with Rand Paul’s Senate campaign has admitted to placing his shoe firmly on the face of a MoveOn.org volunteer outside a Senate debate on Monday night, but insisted that the camera angle of the footage that captured the alteration made the scuffle look worse than it was.
Tim Profitt apologized for the incident in a statement sent to a local AP reporter. But he also criticized the police for not stepping in to calm down the crowd and argued that other supporters had previously warned authorities about the MoveOn activist, Lauren Valle.
Profitt is not, it appears, a random campaign volunteer. As the local blog Barefoot and Progressive noted, the Paul campaign touted his endorsement at the bottom of an ad they had taken out in a Bourbon County paper.
Third, Valle spoke to a handful of reporters this afternoon, and explained that she’d been to several other campaign events in Kentucky through her work with MoveOn.org, and that the Paul campaign knows her and expressed their “distaste” for her work. Given this, Valle believes the assault was “premeditated.”
“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,” Valle said this afternoon. “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.’”
She added that the video we’ve all seen doesn’t show the fact that she tried to get away from her attackers.
As for how Valle was able to talk to the media after the incident, without showing signs of injury, she explained that she felt the full brunt of the pain as it hit her later. “I was in severe shock,” she said, adding that the pain in her head started in earnest “an hour and a half afterwards.”
As for Paul, who tried to blame “crowd control” and “both sides” this morning on Fox News, the extremist ophthalmologist issued another statement this afternoon, explaining that the campaign “condemns the actions” of its supporter. Why it took so long for Paul’s team to say this is unclear.
What’s next? As of a few minutes ago, the Lexington police has served Profitt with a criminal summons for his assault.