Man Attacked at MI-GOP Meeting Downplays Party Infighting

The Michigan state committee Republican who was “kicked in the groin” at a meeting on Saturday is downplaying the party’s infighting.

“We’re not really fighting that much in the Republican Party,” Clare County Chair Mark DeYoung said. “But there are some people that are crazy…”

DeYoung may have been referring to James Chapman, the man who attacked him.

DeYoung was allegedly attacked by activist James Chapman, a fellow Republican who was trying to gain access to the meeting.  The meeting arose during tensions surrounding the MI-GOP chair Kristina Karamo’s firing of a budget committee chair who questioned internal spending.

Chapman was with a group of approximately a dozen others who showed up to find a closed meeting.

DeYoung questioned Chapman’s mental health and suggesting initial news reports wrongly portrayed Chapman as “some kind of innocent motherfricker” who was simply caught up in party drama.

“All I did was get up and open the door like a foot wide … and a leg comes right into the door and gets me right in the groin,” DeYoung said on Monday.

DeYoung said both men took off their glasses, explaining that he has boxed “in the ring” before so put his hands up near his head as a protective gesture in case Chapman took a swing. 

DeYoung described Chapman charging him like a football player and pushing him into some furniture at the end of a hallway. “By the time I landed on that, guys were on top of him trying to pull him off and they all landed on top of me too. I got pulled into the Riptide out of nowhere. Just like that: ‘boom.’”

DeYoung said he is “a little sore” but recovering from suspected stress fractures in his back.

On Monday, Chapman was amused by the attention the incident brought.

“Well, I finally made the cover of ‘The Rolling Stone,’” he said, before beginning to sing his version of a 1972 song by rock band Dr. Hook. “Going to see my picture on the cover. Gonna buy five copies for my mother.”

Chapman alleged that DeYoung had “threatened” him through the door’s window and came out of the meeting with “his dukes up.” He initially declined to discuss the incident, citing a “gag order” from his lawyer. Later, he said there were witnesses who could confirm his version of the story, but didn’t name any and cited “a potential trial.”

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