Wisconsin Balloon Assault Draws Police Inquiry

State employee allegedly popped balloon with knife
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2011 12:41 PM CDT
Heart balloons have become a strange symbol of the Wisconsin pro-union protest movement.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Wisconsin police are busily investigating a vicious… balloon stabbing? Strange but true: A pro-union protester says that a state worker popped her heart-shaped balloon with a knife yesterday, and then, when she asked for his name so she could complain, shoved her into a door and ran off, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. There was blood at the scene, but it belonged to the attacker—police say he slipped and cut himself before popping the balloon.

“We’re treating this as a crime scene,” the Capitol Police chief told the paper. Heart-shaped balloons have become a sort of symbol for pro-union protesters, after one spent a few weeks lodged in the rafters of the Capitol building. Protester Leslie Peterson says she was posing for a photo when the worker came and slashed hers. “He was stabbing the balloon. It was disconcerting.” He shoved her later, after she’d retrieved the “balloon carcass," she says.

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