James Chapman, a Republican from Wayne County, told The Detroit News he was outside the meeting at the Doherty Hotel in Clare. He was hoping to get inside and jiggled the door handle.
Clare County Republican Party Chair Mark DeYoung came to the door to see what was going on.
“He kicked me in my balls as soon as I opened the door,” DeYoung told the newspaper in an interview from the emergency room. He said Chapman ran at him and slammed him into a chair.
Chapman said DeYoung threatened to kick his ass and took a swing first. DeYoung denied that, and told the news outlet he suffered a broken rib and intended to press charges.
“We’re so divided,” he was quoted as saying. “I just wish we could come together.”
A physical altercation broke out at Saturday's Michigan GOP state committee meeting, bringing police and sending a person to the ER.
"When you see me taking my glasses off, I’m ready to rock," one of the individuals involved in the fight told me today. https://t.co/ahhAoFmCig
— Craig Mauger (@CraigDMauger) July 8, 2023
It’s not clear whether it’s the same James Chapman.
Committee member Kristin Lee said on Twitter that the fight was outside the meeting room and not among members inside.
“From my clear vantage point a kerfuffle occurred outside our meeting room. We recessed for 5 minutes,” she wrote. “It had nothing to do with the content of our meeting.”
It’s at least the second physical altercation at a Michigan GOP event in recent months.
In April, the nonprofit news agency Bridge Michigan obtained footage of an incident at a Michigan Republican Party leadership meeting, which also took place at the Doherty Hotel: