Jeann Lugo, an off-duty police officer and Republican state Senate candidate in Rhode Island, was arrested Saturday and charged with assault after punching a woman in the face at an abortion rights rally in Providence. Lugo's attack was caught on camera by podcaster Bill Bartholomew as thousands rallied at the State House there. The woman is one of Lugo's opponents in the forthcoming election, writes ABC News.
According to the police report, [Jennifer] Rourke was struck twice in the head. She told police Lugo did not say anything during the assault, but fled after the third punch. "I'm a reproductive rights organizer & State Senate candidate. Last night, after speaking at our Roe rally, my Republican opponent — a police officer — violently attacked me," Rourke wrote in response to the footage.
Lugo, whose campaign website appears to be down Sunday morning, was also charged with disorderly conduct.
CBS News reports that he's been suspended, with full pay.
Providence P.D. confirms, saying that he's been on the force for three years.
Bartholomew posted longer video shows that Jennifer Rourke was trying to de-escalate trouble brewing at the protest.
She shared what happened on Twitter:
Amazing that Lugo lived 35 years without ever cold-cocking a woman in the face, and the first time he ever did it, it was miraculously caught on camera.