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UPDATED: A gay volunteer for Republican Chad Lee’s congressional campaign told the Madison Police Department this week that he recanted the claim he was beaten by an unknown assailant at his home on Oct. 24.
The MPD, in an updated incident report on Oct. 29, said, 29-year-old Kyle Wood of Madison met with the MPD that day. The report said, “In an interview this afternoon with Madison Police detectives, the victim in this case recanted his earlier statements in regards to this crime. This crime, alleged to have occurred on High Street in the South Police District, will be cleared as ‘Unfounded’ for case reporting purposes. Once follow up investigation is completed, MPD’s case file will be reviewed with Dane County District Attorney’s Office.”
The first incident report from the police department, based on Wood’s false claims, listed the incident as a battery and stated, “A 29-year-old … resident contacted the MPD Wednesday morning to report a battery inside his residence. The victim said a man entered through an unlocked door around 8:00 a.m. and attacked him. He said nothing was taken. Investigators believe this was not a random crime. The victim was treated at a hospital and released.”
Wood then told the conservative Daily Caller website in an email that he answered a knock at his door and a guy wrapped a ligature around his neck, slammed his head into the doorway, smashed his face into a mirror and told him to keep his mouth shut. He also said he was “kidney-punched” as the assailant continued the beating.
He was hospitalized with injuries that the police described for the Capital Times as minor.
Earlier in October, Wood claimed someone put graffiti on his car. The alleged messages included, “house trained republican faggot,” “traitor” and “ur like a jew 4 hitler,” according to the Daily Caller report.
After filing the report with police on Oct. 24, Wood, who has not responded to an inquiry from WiG, made allegations to other press that Pocan’s partner sent threatening emails to him and that he was assaulted because of his politics.
Lee is running against openly gay state Rep. Mark Pocan, D, for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Tammy Baldwin, who is running against Tommy Thompson for the U.S. Senate.
The police, in the initial incident report described the suspect as mid-20s, 6′-6’2″, curly brown hair, broad nose, with a muscular build.
After that report, Lee issued a statement that said, “We are deeply concerned about what happened to Kyle, who is an invaluable member of our team. We understand he is cooperating with the Madison Police Department in their ongoing investigation into this horrible incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kyle in his recovery.”
“As this matter is still under investigation by law enforcement, we cannot comment further other than that we condemn this vicious attack on a member of our team in the strongest terms, and we hope the perpetrator responsible for this attack will be brought to justice immediately.”
UPDATED: On Oct. 30, the Lee campaign issued a new statement: “Today, our campaign unfortunately learned that a deeply troubled volunteer misled police, news outlets, and our own team in regards to events that he alleged to have occured.
“Our campaign dismissed Mr. Wood immediately and we will fully cooperate with the authorities as they continue with their investigation. As the Madison Police Department is investigating this matter, we cannot comment further at this time.”
The Pocan campaign also issued a statement: “The recent events affecting the 2nd District campaign are an example of what is wrong with civility in politics today. We are sorry to see the false accusations made against Phil Frank as well as the derogatory words used towards Jennifer Lee.
“We hope that those who are responsible for the recent events are quickly brought to justice. We are keeping every option open on legal actions towards organizations and individuals that perpetrated this lie.
“We are appreciative of the work of the Madison Police Department in handling this swiftly and decisively. At this time, we do not plan on making any further comments on this matter.”
Police are still investigating and may bring charges against Wood.