A 72-year-old man was arrested two weeks ago for allegedly assaulting a 23-year-old activist protesting Dino Rossi’s Republican campaign for Senate in Washington state, according to local reports.
The incident occurred outside GOP headquarters in Walla Walla County where the demonstrator, Christie Stordeur, was “one of five protesters standing about 40 feet from the entrance of the office,” according to the Tri-City Herald.
Stordeur and the other protesters “were wearing bags over their heads and holding a sign that looked like a check.” That’s when Victor Phillips, according to a Sheriff’s deputy on scene, walked over to Stordeur to “lift her bag off her head.” When Stordeur “lifted her arm in defense,” Phillips hit it “with ‘force.’”
The Herald reports that the deputy on scene “immediately stepped between the two and arrested Phillips on a charge of investigation of assault.”
Phillips’ explanation, as recounted in a police report filed after the arrest and obtained by the Herald: “Phillips said he wanted to get a picture of the protesters.”
The paper reports that it remains “uncertain” if Rossi, who is locked in a close race with Sen. Patty Murray (D), “was present at the time of the incident.”
The TPM Poll Average shows Murray ahead 49.3-45.8.
Correction: This post originally said the incident occurred yesterday. The assault actually occurred on October 15. We regret the error.