COLUMBIA — Two women were assaulted at MU on Thursday in a fight over petition signatures, MU police said.
Two pairs of people began fighting in Speakers Circle between 4:20 and 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Both groups were collecting signatures on a renewable energy petition, said Capt. Brian Weimer of the MU Police Department. The trouble began because the pairs were working for different companies on the same project, he said.
A male suspect shoved a 20-year-old pregnant woman when she tried to retrieve petitions the suspects had stolen from her, Weimer said. The other victim, an 18-year-old woman, was shoved down the steps of Speakers Circle. When she tried to get up, a male suspect grabbed her braided hair and ripped it from her scalp. Weimer said both male suspects left when bystanders came to help the victims.
The men took the victims’ petitions because the men were paid by the number of signatures, while the women were paid by the hour, Weimer said. Weimer said MU police have a good idea who the suspects are and where they are staying, but have not yet made contact with them. Both suspects were gone when police arrived.
Both women refused medical attention.
Police were able to talk to witnesses at the scene. Other witnesses are encouraged to call Sgt. Shawn Spalding with the MU Police Department’s investigative unit at 882-5928.