A 75-year-old Republican volunteer at an early-voting site in North Carolina says she was assaulted by the Democratic candidate for district attorney last weekend.
Faris Dixon has the right temperament, knowledge, and skills to be #PittCounty's next District Attorney. Elect Faris Dixon for D.A. on November 6th. Early voting is underway! pic.twitter.com/q6jLcMyFHc
— Pitt County Democratic Party (@PittCountyDems) October 19, 2018
What started out as a handshake between Democrat Faris Dixon and the female volunteer “became something much more,” according to the North Carolina Republican Party:
October 20 at the Alice Keene early voting location in Greenville. Dixon allegedly approached the volunteer, who was bringing handouts to other volunteers at the poll location, and grabbed her hand, digging his thumb into the sensitive areas of her right hand and causing the woman to cry out in pain. The woman eventually was able to free her hand from Dixon’s grip.
— The News & Observer (@newsobserver) October 25, 2018
The North Carolina GOP released several more photos of the volunteer’s bruised hand, which can be seen here.
Julie Anne Dodson reported the incident to the police Saturday evening, according to the Greenville Police Department. The alleged encounter happened at about 6 p.m. at the early-voting location and is being treated as an assault-on-a-female investigation.
A police spokeswoman told the News & Observer that a detective is looking into the allegations.
“At this point, further investigation is needed to determine what happened,” said Kristen Hunter.
Dixon denied the allegation, calling it “ridiculous.”
“The Republicans are at it again. They’re running plays from their same old playbook. It didn’t work before, and it’s not going to work now,” Dixon said in a written statement.
“The people of Pitt County are smarter than that, and will see through it — and will see it for what it is,” Dixon said. “It will backfire. In these final days of the election, they’re attacking me and trying to harm my campaign again with this false accusation. Witnesses saw the exchange.”
He added, “I am glad to cooperate with any law enforcement agency as part of an investigation because I know these claims are false. They’ll be proven false in short order.”
Neal Inman, an attorney for the state GOP, described a more menacing interaction.
“I believe they were walking past each other and according to her, there was a handshake that turned into something much more,” he said. “According to her, he did not let go when she expressed pain, that he pushed his thumb down deeply into the nerve bundles of her right hand and that she said she had to pry him off, but he eventually let go.”
In a press release, the N.C. GOP said:
The woman visited a doctor for an X-ray and pictures showed extensive bruising and other injuries to her hand. A report has been filed with the Greenville Police Department and detectives are investigating. North Carolina Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse issued the following statement:
“This type of confrontation from Mr. Dixon is unacceptable,” stated Woodhouse. “This was not just a handshake; this sounds like assault. His alleged actions caused extensive bruising and forced the volunteer to visit a doctor for treatment. We look forward to the results from a thorough investigation by the Greenville Police Department. Violence against volunteers, especially from a man running to be a district attorney, cannot be tolerated and Mr. Dixon should apologize immediately.”
According to a GOP news release, “the victim has chosen to refrain from comment while the investigation is ongoing.”
“We look forward to the results from a thorough investigation by the Greenville Police Department,” said Woodhouse. “Violence against volunteers, especially from a man running to be a district attorney, cannot be tolerated and Mr. Dixon should apologize immediately.”