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The Latest: Charged WV pol says he didn’t commit crime

September 9, 2019

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The Latest on battery charges against a West Virginia lawmaker (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

A West Virginia lawmaker says he doesn’t think he committed a crime after being charged with battery for losing his temper over racist signs at the Capitol.

Democratic Del. Mike Caputo on Monday said he was surprised to learn that the misdemeanor charge had been brought after the incident in March. A criminal complaint was filed Friday.

Caputo is accused of kicking a door into a statehouse staffer and elbowing a delegate after being upset by a display on “WV GOP Day” that falsely linked U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Omar is one of the first Muslim congresswomen ever elected.

Caputo has previously admitted to kicking the door. He says he has previously apologized and said he didn’t intend to hurt anyone.

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1:10 p.m.

Authorities say a West Virginia lawmaker has been charged for kicking a door into a statehouse staffer and elbowing a legislator because he was mad about racist signs at the Capitol.

A criminal complaint filed Friday in Charleston charges Democratic Del. Mike Caputo with misdemeanor battery for the incident in March.

Caputo has admitted to kicking the door because he was upset about a display on “WV GOP Day” that falsely linked U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Omar is one of the first Muslim congresswomen ever elected.

Police say Caputo hit the staffer with the door then pushed Del. Sharon Malcolm with his elbow. The complaint says Malcolm wasn’t initially hurt but that she’s since experienced pain.

Caputo didn’t return a voicemail.

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