HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Orange County Congressman Dana Rohrabacher says a 71-year-old staffer at his Huntington Beach office was knocked unconscious during a protest, but the protesters say they were delivering Valentine’s Day cards.
The “assault” on Rohrabacher’s district director, Kathleen Staunton, happened Tuesday afternoon during a protest by a group calling themselves Indivisible OC. Police confirmed they were called to the scene, but made no arrests.
Staunton was trying to exit through the front door of Rohrabacher’s office to visit a restroom when, according to Rohrabacher, a protester yanked the door open, causing her to fall and hit her head. The door also pushed over a 2-year-old child who was apparently brought along with the crowd, but she was not injured, the congressmen said.
Staunton, who has managed Rohrabacher’s office since his first term in 1989, was treated by paramedics and taken to a local hospital, Rohrabacher said in a statement released Wednesday.
“I am outraged beyond words that protesters who mobbed my Huntington Beach office violently knocked down my faithful district director, Kathleen Staunton, causing her to be hospitalized,” Rohrabacher said. “And, yes, deliberate or not, the incident came as part of a mob action that not only intimidates but coerces. Though the protesters think of themselves as idealists, they engaged in political thuggery, pure and simple.”
The protest was part of a nationwide movement calling itself “Indivisible” and pledged to resist President Donald Trump’s agenda. Rohrabacher said the group came to demand a town hall meeting with him even though he was working in Washington D.C. with the House of Representatives in session.
The group’s Twitter page confirmed they were at Rohrabacher’s Huntington Beach office Tuesday – but according to their page, it was to deliver Valentine’s Day cards.
“When Megan Blash and her 2 year-old (sic) daughter, Lola, arrived at Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s office to hand deliver a Valentine’s Day card, they were met with a shut and locked door,” Indivisible said in a lengthy statement accompanied by pictures of the incident. “Rep. Rohrabacher’s disdain for visiting constituents led to Lola sliding her card under his door, which led to a staffer accidentally opening the door on Lola’s head and the following so-called ‘tussle.’”