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Candidate suspends campaign after being accused of assaulting rival at abortion rally | NEWSRUX

A candidate for the state legislature noticed his marketing campaign come to an unceremonious finish over the weekend after he was accused of bodily attacking his opponent.

The incident befell on the Windfall, Rhode Island state home on Friday night, hours after the Supreme Court docket’s ruling overturning many years of precedent to scrap Roe vs Wade was introduced. As supporters of abortion rights grew in entrance of the state capital, off-duty police officer and Republican state Senate candidate Jeann Lugo joined the gang.

It’s nonetheless not clear precisely what occurred subsequent, however his Democratic opponent Jennifer Rourke says Mr Lugo punched her within the face twice after a melee broke out within the crowd, which was all caught on digital camera. Ms Rourke shared slowed-down video of the incident to her Twitter account, and Mr Lugo has not denied the accusation.

He even instructed The Windfall Journal that he wasn’t positive what had taken place, and couldn’t say that he didn’t strike his opponent.

“I am not going to disclaim,” he stated “It was very chaotic, so I am unable to actually inform you proper now. All the pieces occurred very quick.”

It wasn’t instantly verifiable whether or not Mr Lugo’s obvious assault of Ms Rourke was attributable to disagreement over their views on abortion rights; nevertheless, Mr Lugo later claimed to The Washington Put up that he stepped in to the scene (regardless of being off-duty) to supposedly defend somebody being harassed by the gang. It’s not clear why which may require him punching a lady within the face twice.

“I stepped in to guard somebody who was attacking a gaggle of agitators,” claimed Mr Lugo. “At the moment, an inner investigation is pending, and because the information of the incident come to mild, I request that my household and I’ve privateness.

“As an officer sworn to guard and serve our communities, I sadly discovered myself in a scenario the place no particular person must be seen.”

He additionally has confirmed that he gained’t be on the poll in 2022, ending a brief bid for Rhode Island’s Democrat-dominated state Senate.

“I cannot be working for any workplace this fall,” Mr Lugo tweeted, earlier than deleting his account.

However Mr Lugo gained’t be defending communities any time quickly, given that he’s now on administrative depart from the police division he has been part of since 2019. He’s additionally now going through felony costs, together with disorderly conduct.

“The Windfall Police Division is criminally investigating the conduct of an off responsibility Windfall Police Officer final night throughout a protest on the Rhode Island State Home the place a feminine topic was assaulted,” a spokesperson for the town instructed the Put up.

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