Julio Perez and Michele Martinez Campaigns Offer Comments on Alleged Beating of Perez-Supporting Canvasser by Martinez Volunteer

On Sunday, an Orange County Dignity PAC canvasser on behalf of the Julio Perez campaign for the 69th Assembly District was walking a precinct when an alleged incident occurred between the young man and a supporter of Michele Martinez's candidacy in the race.

A source relayed to the Weekly that the Perez follower was chased and pushed to the ground causing his jeans to rip and leaving a bloody gash on his knee. He reportedly does not want to go to the police about the incident but a photo of his injury was forwarded along.

Photo of the scraped knee forwarded to the Weekly
Photo of the scraped knee forwarded to the Weekly

It didn't take long for the OC blogosphere to pick up on all of it. A video was posted on Art Pedroza's OC Politics Blog which shows the precinct walker running from a man chasing after him and asking in Spanish why he was taking down Michele Martinez campaign signs and if Perez was paying him to do so. The Liberal OC fired back soon after with their own take.

When reached, the Martinez campaign said one of its volunteers witnessed the canvasser taking a sign from a family member's home and confronted him. They also deny that any physical altercation occurred. "The man...ultimately tripped and fell a few houses away from the one where the incident took place," says Martinez Campaign Consultant Derek Humphrey. "The claim that anything else happened is an absurd attempt to deflect attention away from the man's illegal activities."

The video does not present any footage of the volunteer doing anything to any sign and cuts off without showing a physical altercation or a tumble for that matter. An informational report was filed Sunday night with the Santa Ana Police Department according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. "It hasn't been assigned to a detective," he adds. At press time he could not say if any physical evidence was in the department's possession, only that the home owner, at this time, is satisfied with having the incident documented.

"I do not have any relationship with the Dignity PAC or any other IE," Perez says of independent expenditures. "It wasn't any one of my volunteers and I don't really have any connection with the things that they're doing." The candidate reviewed the online footage and saw that the precinct walker had the literature of the IE in hand illustrating the point he underscores.

"I don't condone any forms of violence on either camp," Perez went on to say, in terms of any alleged sidewalk shove on Sunday. "That's one of the things that my campaign has been trying to stop our kids from, bullying and a whole series of things. We train our volunteers every time they go out."

Hopefully, as the primary draws nearer, more substantive issues will take their rightful place as voters begin to decide who best to represent them in the only Assembly District OC Dems are assured to win.

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