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Suspects arrested in attack on state senator during protests

The women are accused of attacking state Sen. Tim Carpenter
Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 4:25 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The two people who were identified as persons of interest in the attack on a sitting state senator on the night of the demonstrations during which two landmark statues were toppled have turned themselves into authorities.

According to an update from the Madison Police Dept. Samantha Hamer, 26, and Kerida O’Reilly, 33, surrendered to police on Monday. The Madison women were both arrested and booked on counts of substantial battery - party to a crime and robbery with use of force - party to a crime.

In announcing their arrests, Madison Police Dept. spokesperson Joel DeSpain noted that the investigating detective was able to identify the pair with help from the community.

While MPD’s public report only referenced the victim as ‘the politician,’ in line with department policy, it referenced public reporting, directly indicated its report related to the widely covered attack on Sen. Tim Carpenter.

According to police, Carpenter was walking near the Capitol when he saw the protesters and took out his phone to record the action. At that point, three people allegedly rushed toward him. One of them reportedly said something about the phone while another “sucker-punched” the senator, investigators said.

Hours after the attack, Carpenter tweeted the video he took of those initial moments.

Both Carpenter and a witness stated approximately ten people participated in the attack, either kicking or punching him, as Carpenter lay on the ground “tr(ying) to explain that he was an ally,” the police report said.

After the assault ended, MPD noted, Carpenter tried talking with those who attacked him and asked to get his phone and glasses back. A nurse came to his aid and helped him as he laid in the grass. Carpenter did not end up going to the hospital, instead, with Capitol Police help, he went into the Capitol to recuperate.

He was still there Wednesday morning when he tweeted the video, saying he was still stuck in his office and that he may have suffered a concussion, still had blurred vision in his left eye, and his neck and ribs were sore. According to MPD, he did later seek medical attention at a hospital.

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