A man was arrested last week in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, after he assaulted senatorial candidate Shiva Ayyadurai at a town hall. Ayyadurai was left bleeding after the man punched him in the face with the megaphone that the politician was using.
The 54-year-old scientist is running as an independent challenger to incumbent Elizabeth Warren from the Democratic party. Ayyadurai later tweeted about the incident, saying, “I was just punched in face by a racist @SenWarren supporter.”
He received a bloody lip, swelling, and abrasions, according to Boston.com. He was later treated at a hospital.
The incident happened on July 22 outside an event in Great Barrington, where Warren was scheduled to address her supporters. Ayyadurai was campaigning outside the event venue, where several Democrat supporters were waiting in line, when Paul Solovay, wearing a t-shirt that said “liberal” and a “Warren for Senate” sticker, crossed the street to confront him.
The video shows Ayyadurai saying that the townhall attendees prefer not to have a “discourse on racism.” He says: “We don’t produce enough engineers. We don’t produce enough doctors. But we do produce a bunch of scumbag lawyer lobbyists like Elizabeth Warren.”
The video then cuts to Solovay shouting at him from across the street, and leaving the queue to approach him. When he comes close to Ayyadurai, the latter repeatedly calls Solovay a racist through the megaphone. The 74-year-old Warren supporter then pushes the bullhorn into his face.
Ayyadurai’s supporters rush towards Solovay, pushing him to the ground. “That’s racism, right there,” Ayyadurai said after the attack.
“Solovay allegedly engaged in a verbal confrontation that became physical when he pushed the bullhorn toward the speaker, striking his mouth,” police said, according to the report. “Officers acted quickly to subdue Solovay and place him into custody.”
Ayyadurai has asked Warren to “unequivocally condemn” the assailant and “to send my family & me a real apology.”
Solovay, who was charged with assault and battery and disorderly conduct, pleaded not guilty on July 23 in Southern Berkshire District Court, PTI reported. He was released on personal recognizance.
Warren’s press office has denounced the “confrontation,” the Berkshire Eagle reported. “The confrontation was wrong,” Warren’s press secretary, Gabrielle Farrell, said in an email to the publication. “Sen. Warren hosts town halls so people can come together, have meaningful discussions, civil discourse, and make a difference on issues that impact all of our lives.”