Illinois lawmaker's daughter charged in staple gun attack on political rival

Police photo shows Jessica Soto, left, and Bradley Fichter, right.

Police photo shows Jessica Soto, left, and Bradley Fichter, right.  (Chicago Police Department)

An Illinois state lawmaker’s daughter has been charged in connection with a staple gun attack on one of her mother’s political rivals, police said Friday.

Jessica Soto and her boyfriend Bradley Fichter, both 26, of Chicago, were charged with three counts of aggravated battery in a March 6 attack on Robert Zwolinski, Reuters reported.

Zwolinski was defeated by state Rep. Cynthia Soto, D-Chicago, in a primary election for the state's 4th District Tuesday.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Jessica Soto and Fichter were stapling pro-Soto campaign flyers to a building when Zwolinski and his girlfriend drove by, got out of their car and approached them. An argument then ensued.

Cook Couny prosecutors said Fichter punched Zwolinski in the eye and Soto joined in the squabble. Soto then allegedly used the staple gun on Zwolinski's face. The politician suffered multiple injuries.

Frank Avila, the couple’s lawyer, accused Zwolinski of starting a fight with his clients and possibly putting a staple in his own head just for attention. He told Judge Maria Kuriakos Cecil that Zwolinksi is the one who should be facing charges.

"Taking down somebody's sign and ripping it down is destruction of property," Avila argued.

Zwolinski posted photos on social media of a staple sticking out of his forehead, a bloodied head and a swollen nose apparently from the alleged attack.

"The girl was yelling, while I was on the ground fighting the man off of me, 'This is Soto's territory! This isn't your territory,'" he said.

Bond was set at $25,000 each and Soto and Fichter were both ordered not to go near Zwolinski, his girlfriend or his campaign headquarters.

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