Democratic Pennsylvania legislature candidate Richard Ringer says he was knocked unconscious when he confronted a trespasser on his property. It’s one more incident in a string of actions that he believes may be political in nature.
Of the three incidents, one seems more clearly political than the other two. A few weeks ago, a message was spray-painted on his garage door, appearing to suggest a link between “your [presumably Ringer’s] race” and “dead” — although the missive was partially washed away by rain before Ringer saw it.
In another incident, a brick was thrown through his window, but it’s the latest incident that rose to the level of physical violence against him. Ringer says that he heard a noise outside and discovered someone trying to enter his garage — but upon confronting the trespasser, was assaulted and knocked unconscious.
“He had my arm behind my back, and he was pounding me,” Ringer said. “The only thing I have is the bruising on my hand and face, but he hit me a couple of times and knocked me out.”
Because his neighborhood is not typically plagued with violence and crime, and because all three incidents took place within a few weeks and so close to election day, Ringer feels that they’re potentially all linked — and politically motivated against the Democratic candidate.
“Ringer says, all in all, he’s okay, and planning to install cameras outside of his home as soon as possible. State police confirm they are investigating all three of those reported incidents.”
His race has been complicated by the Republican incumbent Matthew Dowling, who won his primary for re-election, withdrawing his name from consideration after a June DUI. He nominated Charity Grimm Kupa to take his place, and she’ll be on the November ballot against the Democratic candidate, Ringer.
From WITF’s July coverage of that incident:
“In the affidavit, one of the emergency medical responders said when personnel arrived Dowling was seen sitting in the grass with no shoes on and he ‘exhibited an altered mental status, poor balance, slurred/delayed speech, and she smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from him.’ Later on the day of the crash, Dowling told police he did not remember a car crash or remember speaking with the other driver.”
Dowling entered a treatment program and said it would be best for his family and mental health if he stepped out of this election to focus on treatment and the charges stemming from the accident.
On Tuesday, Ringer expressed appreciation for well-wishes and support coming from both Republicans and Democrats in the wake of his assault
Steph Bazzle covers politics and theocracy, always aiming for a world free from extremism and authoritarianism. Follow Steph on Twitter @imjustasteph.