Murphy camp ‘considering all legal options’ after latest West attack adby George Bennett | October 25th, 2012
U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Palm Beach Gardens, is running another TV ad with Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy‘s 2003 mug shot — this time to claim that Murphy “isn’t being honest about his drunken assault of a police officer.”
Murphy’s campaign is objecting to the ad’s use of the word “assault” and hinting at legal action because Murphy was not charged with assault in the incident outside a Miami Beach club when he was a 19-year-old University of Miami student.
“We are considering all legal options,” Murphy consultant Eric Johnson said today. “We’re talking to lawyers now.”
Murphy was arrested for disorderly intoxication and possessing a fake driver license in the 2003 incident. The intoxication charge was ultimately dropped for lack of evidence and the fake ID charge was dismissed. Murphy has called the episode “the biggest mistake of my life.”
A police report from the time said the arresting officer advised Murphy “to calm down and step away from my safe space (Defendant continued to get within several inches of my face)” and that Murphy then cursed at the officer and was arrested.
Assault is defined in Florida statutes as “an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.”
West campaign manager Tim Edson defended the ad.
“Screaming…in a police officer’s face is verbal assault,” Edson said.