Updated 3:09 p.m. Eastern Time
Before the start of last night's Kentucky Senate debate, a supporter of Republican Rand Paul stepped on the head of a woman who tried to approach the candidate. You can see raw video of the incident at left.
According to the Associated Press, the man who stepped on the woman's head is Tim Profitt, a volunteer for Paul's campaign who has now apologized for his actions. Profitt suggested the camera angle made the incident look worse than it was and criticized police for not stepping in.
The woman, Lauren Valle, is affiliated with the liberal group MoveOn.org. As the Louisville Courier Journal reports, she said later she was trying to give Paul a satiric award from "RepubliCorp," which was meant to sarcastically thank Paul for merging political speech and the interests of big business. She was trying to get her picture taken with him while presenting the award.
As you can see in the video, Valle had her blond wig pulled off and was wrestled to the ground, apparently by a support of Paul. As she lies on the ground, Profitt, who is holding a Paul sign, steps on Valle's head and shoulders. As this happens, a third man can be heard saying, "no, no, no, no - come on."
Valle, who reported the incident to the police, appeared to be OK afterward, though she said she was left with "a bit of a headache." She said she "just wanted to get out here with a sign, but I got my head stepped on."
In a statement, Paul said, "Violence of any kind has no place in our civil discourse and we urge supporters on all sides to be civil to one another as tensions rise heading toward this very important election. We are relieved to hear that the woman in question was not injured."
According to the AP, Paul's campaign has removed Profitt as Bourbon County campaign coordinator and banned him from campaign events.
MoveOn said in a statement that "We're appalled at the violent incident that occurred at the Kentucky Senate debate last night." The group called for "those responsible" to "be brought to justice quickly" and expressed concern there have not yet been arrests.
"Numerous news reports clearly show that the young woman--a MoveOn supporter--was assaulted and pushed to the ground by Rand Paul supporters, where one man held her down while another stomped on her head," the group said. "This kind of violence has no place in American society, much less at a peaceful political rally."
Brian Montopoli is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of his posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.