Anti-Trump protesters in California knocked unconscious a 71-year-old female staffer of a Republican congressman in an altercation during a Valentine's Day political stunt.
A group of protesters calling themselves "Indivisible OC" were leaving Valentine's Cards at the Huntington Beach district office of California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher when a tussle ensued and the congressman's district director, Kathleen Staunton, ended up at the hospital.
Rohrabacher released a statement excoriating the protesters while acknowledging the injury was accidental:
I am outraged beyond words that protesters who mobbed my Huntington Beach office violently knocked down my faithful district director, Kathleen Staunton, causing her to be hospitalized. And, yes, deliberate or not, the incident came as part of a mob action that not only intimidates but coerces. Though the protesters think of themselves as idealists, they engaged in political thuggery, pure and simple. These people do not want, as they’ve claimed, to hold a town hall meeting with me. These are unruly activists on whom the lessons of civility and democratic participation have been lost.
The statement continues on to call the protesters "enemies of American self-government and democracy."
According to the Orange County Register, the protesters found the door to the congressman's office locked and began slipping their cards under the door with messages demanding he hold a town hall event to hear their grievances against President Donald Trump. While protesters were attempting to photograph fellow protester Megan Blash's 2-year-old daughter Lola near the door, Staunton opened it from the other side, knocking the child down. In the ensuing struggle, a protester yanked the door open, pulling Staunton to the ground. Later, she fell unconscious and was taken to the hospital by paramedics.
The event was documented via social media, including a video from the "OC Indivisible" Twitter account.
ICYMI: @DanaRohrabacher's staff opened a door into a two year old "political thug" yesterday afternoon.
— Indivisible OC (@indivisible_oc) February 15, 2017
Although some "Indivisible OC" members expressed regret at the accident, the group put out a statement putting the blame on Rohrabacher, saying, "Rep. Rohrabacher’s disdain for visiting constituents led to Lola sliding her card under his door, which led to a staffer accidentally opening the door on Lola’s head and the following so-called ‘tussle.'"
Regarding the "tussle" at @DanaRohrabacher's office: https://t.co/3J0yEX0lK7 https://t.co/G6RGdbiYm6— Indivisible OC (@Indivisible OC) 1487136919.0
Rohrabacher had recently made headlines when he took down a controversial painting of police as pigs at Capitol Hill which had been displayed as part of a congressional art competition. The congressman was also widely thought to have been on Trump's list of possible nominees for secretary of state. Rohrabacher has been a strenuous defender of Vladimir Putin, even to the point of dismissing accusations of human rights abuses by the Russian president.