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State senator attacked, building firebombed as night turns violent

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Surveillance video shows a firebombing June 24 at the City County Building in Madison following a night of unrest.
City of Madison photo
Surveillance video shows a firebombing June 24 at the City County Building in Madison following a night of unrest.
Forward Statue pulled down
Lance Veeser/WKOW
The Forward Statue pulled down from the front of the state Capitol in Madison following a night of unrest. in June.
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Michelle Alfinin/WKOW
The Hans Christian Heg statue is lying headless in lake Monona
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Lance Veeser/WKOW
Glass smashed out at Tommy Thompson Center

MADISON (WKOW) -- A demonstration turned ugly overnight, sparked by the arrest of an organizer earlier in the day who had been involved in protests since May following the killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd.

WKOW reporter Lance Veeser and news photographer Rod Curry came across state Sen. Tim Carpenter, who said he had been assaulted for taking a photo of the protest.

A few moments later Carpenter collapsed and the news crew called 911 to get him an ambulance. We're waiting to hear how Carpenter is doing and confirm more information from police.

Earlier in the evening, protesters pulled down the Forward statue that normally stands outside the State Capitol and left it lying in the middle of the road.

The same group also tore down the Col. Hans Christian Heg statue a short time later. The group then went on to throw the statue into Lake Monona. Heg fought for the Union during the Civil War and was a stark opponent of slavery during that time.

Glass of the Tommy Thompson Center on W. Washington Avenue was also smashed out a short time later.

The attack happened the same night that arsonists attempted to throw a firebomb into the City County Building nearby.

Surveillance video shows a firebombing June 24 at the City County Building in Madison following a night of unrest.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi condemned the attack in a statement Wednesday.

"What happened overnight in the heart of the city I've grown up and spent my entire life in is absolutely heartbreaking," Parisi said. "The misguided actions of a few jeopardized people's safety and well-being. Things have gone too far."

The executive specifically called out a fire bomb thrown into the City County Building. "A firebomb tossed through windows of the City County Building (CCB) landed near Dane County's 911 Center, the lifeline for all of our county's residents in the event of an emergency," Parisi said.

Dispatchers evacuated from the primary 911 center and moved to the county's back-up area.

Sheriff's Deputies put out the flames which began near boxes of paper, according to Parisi.

"The recklessness of throwing a firebomb into the CCB could have resulted in a human tragedy," Parisi said. "A spreading fire in the City County Building could endanger the lives of dozens of young people in the juvenile corrections center and the 180 inmates of the Dane County Jail who reside in the CCB."

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