By Guy Page
Montpelier police are asking anyone with cellphone video of the May 15 assault on Vermont Liberty supporters Karen Skau or Shona Reiter to contact them.
“We have received several videos,” Sgt. Jeff Pearson told Vermont Daily today. “I assume there are several more out there that will be provided.” Pearson can be reached at 223-3445.
No arrests or citations have been made yet, Pearson said. The Montpelier Police Department is pursuing the investigation with assistance from the Washington County State’s Attorney’s office, he said.
According to Skau and witnesses, Skau was struck in the face with an open hand twice, struck again in the face with a stolen folded political sign, and then pepper sprayed after the Vermont Liberty rally at the Vermont State House Saturday. Reiter was struck by pepper spray. The assault occurred at about 4:30 pm. The assailant was the mother of a young woman intent on disrupting the Vermont Liberty rally earlier that afternoon, Skau said.
Skau suggested during an interview Thursday that she may have been targeted for the attack. She noted that a website operated by leftist activists had “outed” her as a flag-waving presence at previous protests and events. Leftist protesters often address her by her first name – showing that they know who she is, she said.
For more details, see Friday’s Vermont Daily news report.
TOP – Montpelier EMTs treat Karen Skau Saturday May 15 on the State House lawn as her companion Josh Curiale holds her hand. Bottom from left: EMTs treat witness and victim Shona Reiter of Stowe. Bottom center: Capitol police ask loud protesters to move along (about 1 pm). The mother of one of the protesters arrived at about 4:30 and committed the assaults, witnesses say (Steve Thurston photo). Bottom right – provocative graffiti scribbled on a Vermont Liberty sign.
Scott condemns violent event
Gov. Phil Scott was asked by Vermont Daily at last Friday’s press conference: “Are you aware that a supporter of Vermont Liberty, the group started by John Klar, was beaten and pepper-sprayed after a Vermont Liberty event on the State House lawn Saturday, and do you have any comments or thoughts about it?”
“I wasn’t aware of what group it was,” Scott said. “I did hear there was a situation…. I condemn anything physically violent of that nature….I condemn the action, whoever did it.”
The news story prompted many comments by Vermont Daily readers, including the following:
“What is happening to our freedoms. Do people get paid for disrupting others or are they just so full of hate that they act it out?”
and this comment from a retired State of Vermont security officer:
“I guess when there are no consequences no one should be surprised. The people who go to peaceful assemblies with the intent of disruption by promoting confrontation should be held accountable for their actions. My hope is that MPD find, and appropriately charge the people responsible.”
and this comment from a Johnson resident:
“This is the most important story of the year. I wish I was there and could be a witness and participate in prosecuting these angry people who hide behind their racist ideologies to create more victims instead of healing debates. Freedom and Liberty are worth defending. Free Speech will be the first casualty of their ideological religion. Then I would want to tell them God forgives you your hate and violence. And God knows the people who fed them these lies and ideologies and they will punished in his way unless they seek His Mercy and Grace.
“There is no Fear in Love.
Perfect Love drives out Fear,
because Fear has to do with punishment.
The one who fears is not made perfect in Love.” 1 John 4:18″