A volunteer for Republican 2nd Congressional District candidate Chad Lee says he was attacked and beaten at his home because he is gay.
A story on the Daily Caller, a national conservative website, says Kyle Wood, a full-time volunteer for Lee, reported that he answered his door Wednesday morning and a man wrapped a ligature around his neck, slammed his head into the doorway, smashed his face into a mirror and kidney-punched him.
An attempt to reach Wood was unsuccessful.
Wood told the Daily Caller that while he was being beaten his attacker told him, “You should have kept your (f------) mouth shut.”
The assailant then told Wood he was “warned,” then continued to beat him.
Wood was hospitalized for the injuries he suffered. Police today said they believed the injuries to be minor.
The warning, Wood told the Daily Caller, was a reference to graffiti on Wood’s car last week that allegedly said “house trained republican faggot,” “traitor,” and “ur like a jew 4 hitler.”
Lee is running against Democrat Mark Pocan, who is gay.
“I will not be bullied into voting for a gay man simply because I am gay,” Wood told the Daily Caller.
According to an incident report on the Madison Police Department’s website, police were called to a 29-year-old victim’s home in the 900 block of High Street at 8:07 a.m. on Wednesday. The victim described the attacker as white, 6 foot 2, with curly brown hair, a broad nose and a muscular build. He told police the assailant came in through an unlocked door at about 8 a.m., attacked him, but didn’t take anything.
Wood was not identified in the report.
“We try to protect victims’ rights and privacy,” says police spokesman Howard Payne.
“The detectives have been out this morning and into the afternoon hours interviewing individuals trying to find out who this suspect is,” he says.
He says police don’t believe it was a random attack.
“We believe there was some connection of some sort the existed between the victim in this case and the assailant,” he says.
He wouldn’t say if the case was being investigated as a hate crime.
“Right now we’re not at liberty to say because we don’t know,” he says. “We won’t know if that was the case until we develop a suspect.”
He wouldn’t verify the details Wood provided to the Daily Caller concerning what Wood says the attacker told him during the beating.
“I can’t confirm that those were the statements made to the victim,” he says.
Payne says the story of Wood’s beating is spreading quickly.
“I’ve gotten calls from Washington, D.C., New York, you name it,’ he says. “They’re definitely interested in this case.”
In response to the attack, Lee issued the following statement:
“We are deeply concerned about what happened to Kyle, who is an invaluable member of our team. We understand he is cooperating with the Madison Police Department in their ongoing investigation into this horrible incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kyle in his recovery. As this matter is still under investigation by law enforcement, we cannot comment further other than that we condemn this vicious attack on a member of our team in the strongest terms, and we hope the perpetrator responsible for this attack will be brought to justice immediately."