Daughter of State Lawmaker Attacks Mom's Rival With Staple Gun: Cops
Jessica Soto and her boyfriend are accused of attacking Robert Zwolinski, who was running against Soto's mom for a state representative seat.
The daughter of an Illinois state representative has been charged with attacking a political rival in an assault police say involved a staple gun.
Jessica Soto and Bradley Fichter, both 26, were charged Friday with three counts of aggravated battery after an alleged encounter with 30-year-old Cook County political hopeful Robert Zwolinski.
The scuffle allegedly began when Zwolinski, who was challenging State Rep. Cynthia Soto for the state's 4th District, saw the couple stapling campaign posters for Soto's mother to a building on March 6.
Politics is a contact sport. Apparently that's literally the case. pic.twitter.com/wIlFIP366WMarch 7, 2016
According to the Chicago Tribune, prosecutors say Zwolinski stopped his car and approached the couple before a heated argument ensued.
Prosecutors allege that Fichter then punched Zwolinski. While her rival was on the ground, Soto allegedly struck him with a glass bottle and stapled his head with her staple gun.
"The girl was yelling, while I was on the ground fighting the man off of me, 'This is Soto's territory! This isn't your territory,'" Zwolinski told Reuters.
Zwolinski tweeted a photo of his bloodied face with what appeared to be a staple in his head, along with the message, "Politics is a contact sport. Apparently that's literally the case."
A call made to Rep. Soto was not immediately returned on Saturday afternoon.
However, her daughter's attorney, Frank Avila, has disputed the charges against his clients, and placed the blame on Zwolinski.
Avila said the couple was acting in self-defense that it's Zwolinski who should be charged.
Soto's mother has since beaten Zwolinski in the Democratic primary.
"Taking down somebody's sign and ripping it down is destruction of property," Avila said.
Bond was set at $25,000 each for Soto and Fichter. Both ordered not to go near Zwolinski or his girlfriend.
Both were released Friday.
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