Two women accused of beating up a Wisconsin state senator as he took video of a crowd that had torn down statues during violent protests last month were arrested Monday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Image source: Twitter video screenshot
Kerida E. O'Reilly, 33, and Samantha R. Hamer, 26, turned themselves in and were charged with substantial battery – party to a crime and robbery with use of force – party to a crime, Madison police said, adding that the pair were identified with the assistance of members of the public.
What's the background?
Protesters outside the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison smashed windows at the statehouse and tore down statues — and also beat up Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter who was observing them after midnight June 24, the Journal Sentinel reported in a previous story.
Carpenter, 60, told the Washington Post the violence "has got to stop before someone gets killed. Sad thing I'm on their side for peaceful demonstrations — am a Gay Progressive Dem Senator served 36 years in the legislature."
Tim Carpenter (Image source: Wisconsin State Senate website)
Carpenter also posted video on Twitter showing protesters charging at him — and WKOW-TV staffer Lance Vesser tweeted that Carpenter said he was assaulted and then collapsed:
@lanceveeser I took this pic- it got me assaulted & beat up. Punched/kicked in the head, neck, ribs. Maybe concussi… https://t.co/ApZwgrDRl2— Tim Carpenter (@Tim Carpenter)1592989482.0
Carpenter said video he was recording "got me assaulted & beat up. Punched/kicked in the head, neck, ribs. Maybe concussion, socked in left eye is little blurry, sore neck & ribs. 8-10 people attacked me. Innocent people are going to get killed. Capitol locked - stuck in office. Stop violence now Plz!"
Here are two images showing what appear to be the individuals seen charging at Carpenter in his video:
Image source: Madison police
Here's a photo of Carpenter reportedly about the time he was punched in the face:
.@TimCarpenterMKE was just punched in the face by Madison protesters because he was filming. Several people attacke… https://t.co/DrOcJlrh6b— Dylan Brogan (@Dylan Brogan)1592975443.0
The Journal Sentinel's Lawrence Andrea reported, however, that "protesters said [Carpenter] provoked them."
Paramedics treated Carpenter, but he declined to go to the hospital that night, the paper said, adding that a week later he indicated he had surgery for injuries stemming from the attack.
Not to be outdone by clobbering one of their allies, leftist protesters that night also tore down a statue of an abolitionist who died trying to end slavery during the Civil War, the Journal Sentinel said.
The paper said the nearly century-old statue of Col. Hans Christian Heg — an anti-slavery activist who fought and died for the Union — was decapitated and dragged from its spot guarding the statehouse and thrown into a lake by protesters.
The Hans Christian Heg statue is lying headless in lake Monona. #wkow https://t.co/0grawivgtf— Michelle Alfini (@Michelle Alfini)1592975458.0
And the statue of Wisconsin's motto "Forward" — "an allegory of devotion and progress," according to the Wisconsin Historical Society — also was torn down, the paper said.