Allen/Dole Event at Omni Goes Awry

An incident at The Omni this morning has put Charlottesville in the national media spotlight, though hardly for the best of reasons. At an event for Sen. George Allen starring Sen. Elizabeth Dole Democratic activist, Marine veteran and UVa law student Mike Stark had some questions for Allen during the media Q&A portion of the event. He asked Sen. Allen whether it was true that he’d spat on his ex-wife, a rumor that has been making the rounds among Democrats. In response, an Allen campaign employee grabbed Stark in a headlock and threw him to the ground. Another employee escorted him out of the building, despite Stark’s protests.

What makes all of this news is that NBC 29 got the whole thing on tape. They ran it for their 12pm broadcast, and the video was in rotation on CNN by mid-afternoon. The wires picked up the story, every major political blog is talking about it, and most major papers have stories or are working on them for tomorrow’s issue.

Stark writes that he intends to press charges against his attackers. The Allen campaign has issued a press release in which they accuse Stark of “verbally attack[ing]” Allen and say that they simply “restrained him” and “asked” him to leave the building.

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