WHITEWATER — State Senator Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn) says his son was attacked by a person stealing his political yard signs. The Wisconsin Democratic Party has condemned the attack.
This attack comes after two years of tension in the state of Wisconsin. From protests to recall elections, the state has been the most politically polarized in the country.
The Republican senator says his son, Sean heard commotion outside his Whitewater home early Friday, October 19th. Sean went outside to find someone stealing his Romney/Ryan yard signs.
When Sean tried to get them to stop, he was repeatedly beaten by two people. A neighbor scared off the attackers who ran off before police arrived.
Sean was taken to the hospital after he was held down in a chokehold, and struck repeatedly about the face and head. He reportedly suffered contusions to his face and eyes.
“If I hadn’t had a Mitt Romney sign in my yard, I never would have been targeted, so absolutely I think this is politically motivated. The one guy put me in a chokehold and just started beating me. During the beating, they said stuff like ‘F Romney, Romney sucks, Go Obama,'” Sean Kedzie said.
22-year-old Sean Kedzie is 6′ tall and weighs 195 pounds, but it was two-on-one, and he the chokehold caused him to begin losing consciousness.
“Everything starts closing in from the sides, and it all starts getting black. He was choking me so hard, I couldn’t even get the words ‘please’ out of my mouth, just to beg them to stop,” Sean Kedzie said.
“It gives you a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach,” Sen. Kedzie told FOX6 News.
Sen. Kedzie himself is a veteran of the bruising political battles at the state Capitol, and has even received death threats for his vote on Act 10 — the law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers.
“I think this is a random act that happened o my son. It’s not because of who he is, but because of what he believes in. That to me is a low-point in politics and the lack of civil discourse in the state and across the nation,” Sen. Kedzie said.
Sen. Kedzie says politically frustrated people should make their feelings known through voting, not violence.
“I’m hoping something good can come out of this where people say ‘we’ve crossed the line. Enough is enough,'” Sen. Kedzie said.
Sean Kedzie says despite the attack, the signs are going back up in his yard.
“I’m not going to let these people intimidate me. That’s what they want, so we’re not going to let that happen,” Sean Kedzie said.
Whitewater police are looking for the men responsible. Meanwhile, the Kedzie family is looking for something more important: healing — both for their son and for this politically divided state.
The Democratic Party of Wisconsin released the following statement Tuesday: “This kind of illegal behavior is completely unacceptable. It is our sincere hope that the perpetrators of this assault are quickly identified, found, and charged.”