Woman Stomped on Outside Rand Paul Debate

Paul’s supporter stomped on a moveon.org activist when she tried to approach the Senate candidate.


BY Aliyah Shahid

While the Kentucky Senatorial debate on Monday night was markedly more cordial than usual, a fight that broke out before the event was anything but.

A female MoveOn.org activist was stomped on by a supporter of Kentucky GOP candidate Rand Paul after she attempted to approach him before his final debate with Democrat Jack Conway, Lexington police told the New York Daily News.

[Read 10 Things You Didn't Know About Rand Paul.]

The 24-year-old woman with the liberal group, identified as Lauren Valle by local media, tripped and fell after someone ripped a blond wig off her head. She is then seen on video being wrestled to a curb by one man. After she is placed face down, another man stomps on her shoulder and head with his foot.

People were heard yelling "Get the cops. Get the police out here."

Police said Valle was trying to get a photo with the Tea Party favorite holding a sign that said "employee of the month award." The satirical prize was from Republicorp, a fake business MoveOn created to symbolize what it says is a cozy relationship between corporate American and the GOP.

Valle reported the incident to Lexington police.

"She was subsequently stopped and thrown to the ground by a group of individuals who were gathered there for the debate," police information officer Sherelle Roberts said. "It was caught on video. You can see the woman being thrown to the ground, there was a gentleman who stepped on her head."

The woman, who police would not identify, said she was from Massachusetts. A spokeswoman for MoveOn.org said Valle was hospitalized and released on Tuesday morning.

The man who stomped on her has not yet been identified. Police said they are searching for him.

"We're trying to put names on faces of the individuals," Roberts said.

Paul's campaign released a statement on the melee, calling it "incredibly unfortunate."

"Violence of any kind has no place in our civil discourse and we urge supporters on all sides to be civil to one another as tensions rise heading toward this very important election," the statement said.

[See a slide show of 10 House grudge matches.]

The Conway campaign also tried to reach out to Valle, The Huffington Post reported.

"Everyone is hoping she is okay and I don't think anybody believes this sort of behavior is tolerable," Mark Riddle, senior adviser for the Conway campaign told the political website.

"We can disagree on issues and be passionate about them but I don't think there is any room for someone throwing a young lady to the ground and stomping her on the head no matter how much they disagree with her."

Justin Ruben, the executive director of MoveOn.org said the incident was shocking.

"We're appalled at the violent incident that occurred at the Kentucky Senate debate last night," he said. "...This kind of violence has no place in American society, much less at a peaceful political rally."