Jupiter, Wisconsin – Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with assaulting Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields.
Lewandowski, 42, grabbed the left arm of Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields and pulled her back as she tried to ask Trump a question, according to the report filed by the Jupiter Police Department, which also released a video of the confrontation.
The motion “cleared a path for Lewandowski to walk past Fields, allowing him to ‘catch up’ and get closer to Trump, who was walking during this entire incident,” the police report said.
Trump defended Lewandowski on Twitter after the charges were announced, calling him “a very decent man.”
The New York billionaire continued taking shots at Fields on Twitter throughout the day, tweeting “Why is she allowed to grab me and shout questions? Can I press charges?” At another point he asked, “What is in her hand?”
Later, Trump told reporters in Wisconsin that he will stick with Lewandowski, and that he is being unfairly maligned.
He faces a May 4 court date in connection with the battery charge, according to the police report.
Ted Cruz, who is battling Trump for delegates in the Republican presidential nomination battle, referenced the businessman’s harsh attacks on women and incidents of violence at Trump rallies in issuing a statement on the charge against Lewandowski.
“When you have a campaign that is built on personal insults, on attacks, and now physical violence, that has no place in a political campaign,” Cruz told reporters. “It has no place in our democracy and I think it is a really unfortunate development, but I do think it helps clarify for the voters what the Trump campaign is all about.”
Cruz and other critics are making special appeals to women voters as part of their opposition to Trump.
The third Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, said he would “take some sort of action” against an aide who behaved as Lewandowski did, either suspension or dismissal.
Lewandowski is an aggressive campaign manager. A recent video taken at a Trump rally in Arizona shows him confronting an anti-Trump protester, grabbing him by the collar and pulling him.
Florida law says battery occurs when a person “actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other, or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person,” according to US media reports.