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Madison police searching for 'angry mob' that attacked state Sen. Tim Carpenter

Madison police searching for 'angry mob' that attacked state Sen. Tim Carpenter

Sen. Tim Carpenter

Sen. Tim Carpenter, left, in the Senate Chambers at the state Capitol in 2018.

A state senator “attacked and beaten by an angry mob” after attempting to photograph protesters Wednesday evening sought medical attention for his injuries, according to a Madison Police Department incident report released Thursday.

Sen. Tim Carpenter


Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Milwaukee, told police he was headed to the state Capitol around midnight when a group of demonstrators on the 200 block of W. Main St. caught his eye.

Protesters earlier that evening ordered media to leave the scene and not take photos or videos as the night unfolded.

Carpenter’s video of the moments leading up to the attack, which he shared on Twitter, shows a group of protesters yelling. Two from the crowd can be seen running over to Carpenter and one of them grabbed his phone.

“Leave my phone alone,” Carpenter said.

“Delete it!” a woman ordered.

A witness to the assault told police about 10 people punched and kicked the politician while he lay on the ground and attempted to explain that he is their ally.

After the beating stopped, an individual identifying herself as a nurse came to Carpenter’s aide. The lawmaker stumbled toward the Capitol and laid on the grass, feeling “lightheaded, stunned and dazed,” he told police.

Paramedics treated Carpenter for his injuries and he declined to go to the hospital at the time, though he ended up visiting one later on. As he headed inside the Capitol, police told him to stay put because protesters were still vandalizing property outside.

“Innocent people are going to get killed. Capitol locked- stuck in office.Stop violence nowPlz!” he tweeted around 4 a.m. Wednesday.

He later told police he still felt pain in his neck, arms, ribs and head.

Carpenter did not respond to interview requests Thursday. In a statement to The Washington Post, he said, “Sad thing I’m on their side for peaceful demonstrations — am a Gay Progressive Dem Senator served 36 years in the legislature.”

Madison police are investigating the identity of Carpenter’s attackers. If you have information, contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014 or

Photos: See damage from overnight protests near the state Capitol

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