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Friday, July 22, 2011

Headstomper "denounces violence"


FRANKFORT, Ky. — A former GOP campaign volunteer serving probation after being charged with assaulting a liberal activist last year now is denouncing violence.
Tim Profitt told The Associated Press on Friday that he has “humbled himself before God” after his involvement in a scuffle with a heckler outside a Kentucky television studio where Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and Democrat Jack Conway were scheduled to debate.
“I denounce violence unless it is in self-defense,” Profitt said in a telephone interview from his Arizona home.
Last month, Profitt, 53, a former Kentucky resident and county-level coordinator for the Paul campaign, entered a special plea in which he didn't admit guilt but acknowledged that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him on a misdemeanor assault charge. He agreed to serve a year of unsupervised probation and pay $600 to cover medical bills of activist Lauren Valle.
Widely televised footage of the scuffle showed Valle, one of hundreds of people gathered at Kentucky Educational Television for the debate last October, being pulled down and stepped on.
Profitt had asked Fayette County Judge Kim Wilkie earlier this year to dismiss the assault charge, claiming use of force was justified to protect Paul. Wilkie declined after watching the video.
If Profitt had been convicted by a jury, he could have faced a maximum of a year in jail and a $500 fine.
A retired telephone company technician, Profitt told the AP that he accepted the plea deal to avoid the cost of a potential trial and traveling back and forth between Arizona to Kentucky for court appearances. He said he also had no desire to rekindle the media frenzy that followed the incident.
“I just felt like it was in my best interest to accept the plea,” he said. “I felt like it was the best thing for me and all of us to get on with this thing, and be done with it rather than go through all the hoopla again.”
Profitt said he regrets what he did and that he wouldn't do it again. But he said he believed at the time that Valle was trying to hurt Paul when she rushed at his vehicle as it pulled up to the Lexington television station.

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