Over the past year, Wisconsin has seen just about everything in terms of political protests, but here’s a first: Beer-battered legislators.
Madison resident Miles Kristan, 26, allegedly took out his frustration over the recent political melee in Wisconsin by pouring a beer on the head of a state GOP legislator Wednesday night.
According to the police report, Kristan, accompanied by a cameraman, confronted three state GOP legislators — Reps. Robin Vos, Scott Suder and John Nygren — in a hotel lobby. Police said Kristan yelled out something like “money” and “damned Republicans” before dumping a glass of Miller Lite beer onto Vos’s head.
“All of the victims indicated the suspect swore at them and called them criminals,” Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain told the Madison Capitol Times.
After giving Vos an impromptu beer shower, Kristan allegedly fled the scene. He voluntarily turned himself in on Thursday and was issued a citation for misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
It’s not Vos’s first run-in with Kristan. Vos told police Kristan had been verbally harassing him since February.
The Capitol Times reported Kristan moved to Madison this winter to be a part of the Capitol protests. He was also arrested in March for throwing a pink nightgown — or “pink slip” — at Vos during a Republican fundraiser.
Critics have painted the incident as yet another in a string of outrageous stunts by liberal protesters.
“Childish antics have become the norm for the left in Wisconsin,” wrote Media Trackers, a conservative investigative outlet. “Actions that fit a University of Wisconsin weekend frat party are not a winning public relations strategy and protesters would likely do their cause well if they stopped their present approach.”
Vos didn’t appear angry about the incident, but he did say it was bad public relations for his opponents.
“While I have long been a proponent of free speech, it’s a shame when the expression turns into criminal behavior,” Rep. Vos said in a statement. “Hopefully, the protesters will realize this only hurts their cause with the public.”
But if they heard Vos’s advice, protesters did not heed it.
The Capitol Times reported that while Kristan was in the police district office, about a dozen supporters stood outside chanting: “We’re gonna pour a beer on him.”
As of press time, no one has commented on the tragic waste of beer.