Presidential candidate aide files assault complaint after incident at U.P. bar
[ABC NEWS] MACKINAC ISLAND — Police in the Upper Peninsula are investigating an incident involving aides for Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Rand Paul. Paul aide John Yob alleges Rubio aide Rich Beeson hit him while they were at a bar on the island Thursday night.
A Rand Paul strategist is accusing a top Marco Rubio campaign aide, saying he allegedly “punched me in the face” on Thursday night following a Republican leadership conference in Michigan.
Michigan Republican operative John Yob, who chairs Rand Paul’s campaign in Michigan, is also calling on Rubio’s campaign to fire Rich Beeson, the Florida Senator’s deputy campaign manager. Yob posted to Facebook at 3 a.m. early this morning that he “ran into a guy named Rich Beeson, who frankly I didn’t even know who it was at first because he isn’t relevant in our political world.” Yob claims he has video of the incident “from multiple angles.”
The alleged punch happened at Horn’s Gaslight Bar and Restaurant on Mackinac Island.
Rand Paul’s campaign has declined to comment.
But according to the Horn’s Bar owner, Patti Ann Moskwa, the incident “was nothing.”
“It was like they were playing tag and they know each other and they’ve worked together, this was all blown out of proportion. It’s all on video, we have cameras,” Moskwa told ABC News. “There is no story. In fact, we all sat around, we were laughing about it. We were playing tag in the restaurant going, ‘You’re it.’ We’re having a ball.”
Moskwa went on to say: “It’s two guys just arguing about something, you know– something about politics… And then they’re laughing later!”
“A complaint has been filed for an alleged assault and is being reviewed by the Mackinac County prosecutor,” the Mackinac Island Police confirmed to ABC News in a statement.
Police added they spoke to witnesses and people involved, and the prosecutor will determine whether to press charges.
Sen. Rubio’s campaign told ABC News they have not spoken to Beeson yet, but “were aware of the initial reports but are seeking further information about what happened.”
The Rubio campaign confirmed that the two knew each other from before.
ABC News’ Jessica Hopper contributed to this report.