Rourke said she was de-escalating a situation with a counter-protester “when my Republican opponent Jeann Lugo punched me multiple times in the face.”
The incident was captured on video, which appears to show Rourke getting into an altercation at the protest and almost immediately afterwards getting punched in the face.
Lugo was charged with common assault and disorderly conduct after turning himself in Saturday afternoon, Rhode Island State Police’s Erik Yanyar told CNN.
“After the protest, Rhode Island State Police and the Providence Police Department received complaints of physical assaults that occurred during the protest. Following a joint investigation between the two agencies, a patrolman of Providence Police, identified as Jeann Lugo, 35, was arrested on a State Police affidavit and warrant for common assault and disorderly conduct,” State Police said. of Rhode Island in a statement.
The department confirmed in a later tweet that Lugo was “the off-duty officer involved in this incident.”
Lugo said in a now unavailable tweet that he is stepping down from the state Senate race.
“I will not run for any position this fall,” Lugo said. His Twitter account is no longer available.
CNN reached out to the Fraternal Order of Police in Providence to inquire about possible legal representation for Lugo, but did not hear back Saturday night.
“Political violence like this is exactly why people like me often don’t run for office. Working class candidates and black and brown candidates face violence and threats across the country. “Rourke, who is black, said in her statement.
Two other people were arrested at the rally, authorities said.
Video shows the alleged assault
A video shot by Bill Bartholomew and shared with CNN appears to show the moment Lugo allegedly punched his then-Senate opponent during the abortion rights rally on Friday night.
Rourke had spoken at the rally organized by the WOMXN project. Rourke is a member of the group’s board of directors.
The incident happened after a man live-streaming the event was surrounded by rally attendees who asked him to leave. Rourke is seen in the video wearing a pink shirt asking the man to leave.
Suddenly, a man in a green jacket hits the man broadcasting the rally live on the side of his head. Rally attendees immediately come to the aid of the punched man and fend off the man in the green jacket.
Amid the chaos, the video appears to show Lugo confronting Rourke and punching her in the face with his right hand before backing off.
Rourke filed a report with Providence police Friday night and with Rhode Island State Police Saturday morning. She was seen at a local hospital and told CNN in a statement that she had a headache and ringing in her ears from the punch.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza called the incident “hugely disturbing” after saying he saw the video.