Meet the Man Who Took Down Rand Protester
Mike Pezzano wrestles Laura Valle wearing 'don't tread on me' pin
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Oct 27, 2010 2:23 AM CDT
Updated Oct 27, 2010 7:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – The tackler who wrestled down the Rand Paul protester for a head stompin' was not part of a campaign security detail. He was just an American voter who believes in open carry gun laws and, it seems, using force when ... necessary? Tea Partier Mike Pezzano, sporting a "Don't Tread on Me" pin, held Lauren Valle down on the sidewalk while comrade Tim Profitt stepped on her head Monday night. Pezzano was "outed" by an increasingly disenchanted Tea Party supporter and blogger, notes Gawker.

"Rand Paul isn't going to do anything to me, but his supporters might. I'm afraid of them," said Lisa Grass on her website after she IDed Pezzano. Valle now tells the Washington Post that she suffered a concussion and trauma in the "premeditated" attack. Profitt has apologized, saying he's "sorry it came to that"—but that he was concerned about Paul's safety. Paul's campaign has since dumped Profitt, and he's facing charges. Newser readers, meanwhile, have erupted in a searing debate on whether Valle was stomped or merely restrained to protect the candidate.