The liberal group American Bridge 21st Century announced Wednesday night that it had fired one of its operatives a day after he was arrested and accused of battery against the female campaign manager for Nevada GOP gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt.
In a statement, American Bridge said that Mike Stark had been relieved of his duties "effective immediately."
American Bridge was founded in November 2010 by David Brock, who also founded liberal watchdog group Media Matters. The group’s largest donor is liberal billionaire George Soros, who contributed more than $2 million between 2015 and 2016. Soros is still involved with the group, most recently donating $300,000 in February, and $80,000 last year.
Stark, 50, was arrested by Las Vegas city marshals Tuesday evening after 31-year-old Kristin Davison said he grabbed and twisted her arm, refusing to let go.
"Politics is a little bit aggressive these days, but this is just insane," Davison told Fox News earlier Wednesday. "I’ve never seen anything like it."
Davison told Fox News that Stark “burst into the room where [Laxalt] and I were talking with a camera” and got "very physical" with her.
"This man was physically almost body-checking me," she said. "I was getting nervous for my safety, so we left, and went into an open room.” However, she said Stark tried to follow her, Laxalt and other staffers into the second room.
"He grabbed my right arm, my leg was lodged between the door and the wall. He twisted my arm, and contorted it behind my back,” she explained. “I was scared. Every time I tried pulling away, he would grab tighter, and pull me closer into him.”
Davison said Stark pulled her head into his chest, bruising her neck, and held her there for several minutes. She said it “felt like an hour.”
“I was scared and screaming ‘stop—you’re hurting me,’” she explained.
Davison said Stark warned Laxalt, saying, “Adam, there’s only one way you can make this stop.”
“That really scared me,” she said.
Stark also has a record of arrests while working for American Bridge. He was arrested in October of last year for disorderly conduct at an event in Virginia while covering then-GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie. He was found guilty of disorderly conduct in February of this year.
Earlier this year, Stark was arrested for allegedly assaulting the press secretary for Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. The incident with press secretary Heather Swift unfolded in March at the Longworth House Office Building after a budget hearing before a House committee. Stark allegedly approached Zinke and reportedly “used his full body to push” Swift as she tried to leave the room. Swift, who called the incident “terrifying,” told police that she decided to press charges to help obtain a “stay-away order” against him.
“Assaulting the female campaign manager of the opposing campaign is disgusting and it has no place in our system,” Laxalt campaign spokesperson Parker Briden said. “This mob behavior from the left is out of control. Encouraging violence, as many prominent Democrats like former Attorney General Eric Holder have recently done, is having real, dangerous consequences.”
Democratic candidate Steve Sisolak and Nevada State Democratic Party officials have denied any connection to Stark.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.