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Rand Paul Supporter Involved in Scuffle Also a Major Campaign Donor

  • paul_profitt

    Senate candidate Rand Paul is seen with volunteer Tim Profitt in a photo distributed by Rand's opponent after Profitt was caught on video stepping on the head of a liberal activist. The Paul campaign says the photo was taken in January.

  • KentuckySenate

    Oct. 25, 2010: Image taken from video and released by WDRB/Louisville, Lauren Valle of liberal group MoveOn.org, seen in red, is held on the ground by supporters of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul as she tries to confront the candidate, in Lexington Ky., after Paul and Democratic opponent Jack Conway debated.AP

The volunteer with Rand Paul's U.S. Senate campaign who was caught on video stepping on the head of a liberal activist and pinning her face to the concrete is also a major donor to the Kentucky Republican.

Tim Profitt gave the Paul campaign $1,900, according to a review of Federal Election Commission records. A review of FEC records also shows a woman with the same last name and same address donated at least $500.

Paul's campaign dropped Profitt as campaign coordinator in Bourbon County, in central Kentucky, and banned him from future events. But Paul's campaign has not said whether it will return the donations.

Profitt apologized Tuesday for his role in the scuffle.

"I'm sorry that it came to that, and I apologize if it appeared overly forceful, but I was concerned about Rand's safety," Profitt said, adding that it was not as bad as it looked on video and blamed police for not intervening.

A judge will decide whether Profitt should face criminal charges.

Lauren Valle, the 23-year-old activist with the group MoveOn.org, said her face was swollen and her neck and shoulder were sore after she was wrestled to the ground by Paul supporters Monday night before a debate between the Tea Party loyalist and Democrat Jack Conway.

Valle was roughed up as she tried to give Paul a fake "employee of the month" award. She told police she was assaulted while trying to take a picture with Paul.

The race is one of the most closely watched and hotly contested in the midterm elections.

"I think that this is an extreme example of the kinds of sentiments that people are feeling in many races across the country," Valle said. "I think that tension is incredibly high."

Lexington Division of Police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said Tuesday that officers will deliver a summons to Profitt to appear in court. A judge will determine whether to proceed with an assault case.

Profitt said the fight never would have occurred if police officers had intervened earlier.

"A friend of mine went up to three policeman before Rand got there, and told them about the girl who was standing there with that wig on and that she was getting ready to do something," Profitt said. "The policemen looked at him and said that's not our job."

Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton said Profitt's actions were unacceptable and would not be tolerated.

"The Paul campaign has disassociated itself with the individual who took part in this incident, and once again urges all activists -- on both sides -- to remember that their political passions should never manifest themselves in physical altercations of any kind."

Paul's campaign called the altercation "incredibly unfortunate" and expressed relief that the woman was not injured.

Conway said he was shocked to see the video footage.

"We can disagree on issues, and I don't know what preceded the incident, but physical violence by a man against a woman must never be tolerated," Conway said in a statement. "It is my hope that steps have been taken to ensure this kind of thuggish behavior never happens again in this campaign."

Fox News' Mike Tobin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.