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2 Wisconsin women arrested in June attack on state senator during violent unrest

Written by on July 28, 2020

Two women were arrested Monday for attacking Wisconsin state senator who was recording a video of a group of protesters that had taken down two statues during a chaotic night of demonstrations last month, authorities said.

Samantha R. Hamer, 26, and Kerida E. O’Reilly, 33, turned themselves in after being identified by members of the public, Madison police said. The pair were taken into custody on suspicion of being parties to the crimes of substantial battery and robbery with use of force.

On June 23, Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter was walking by a group of protesters on the street when he pulled out his phone to record what was happening.

The gathering broke out after the arrest of a Black man who went into a restaurant with a baseball bat and began shouting at customers through a megaphone.

Outside, protesters toppled two statues on the Capitol and threw a Molotov cocktail into a government building.

As he was recording, Carpenter was punched and kicked by a group of around 10 people. After the beating, the stunned lawmaker stumbled toward the Capitol and laid down on the grass, police said.

Samantha Rae Hamer right: Kerida O’Reilly. Both women turned themselves into police on suspicion of beating a state senator last month during a chaotic night of protests near Wisconsin’s Capitol in Madison. (Courtesy Dane County Sheriff's Office)

Samantha Rae Hamer right: Kerida O’Reilly. Both women turned themselves into police on suspicion of beating a state senator last month during a chaotic night of protests near Wisconsin’s Capitol in Madison. (Courtesy Dane County Sheriff’s Office)

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“I don’t know what happened,” he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “All I did was stop and take a picture and the next thing I’m getting five-six punches, getting kicked in the head.”

Carpenter was treated by paramedics at the scene and escorted into a building by Capitol Police. He later went to a hospital for treatment.

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