YORKTOWN - A get-out-the-vote rally hosted by the Yorktown Republican Party was interrupted by an alleged violent incident involving the spouses of two candidates running for Town Council.
Current and former local and county Republican leaders were giving speeches on a stage in the Triangle Shopping Center Sunday, Nov. 3, when Councilman Ed Lachterman says his wife, Carol, took out her phone and started filming as Seth Rothberg, the husband of Democratic candidate Patricia-Sullivan Rothberg, was being told to stop leaning on a classic pickup truck reportedly owned by former Republican Town Supervisor Michael Grace, who is running for county legislator in District 4.
According to Ed Lachterman, when approached by Carol, Seth Rothberg brought his phone up into Carol's face and "down on to her wrist." Following the incident, the Lachtermans filed a police report and Carol was taken to an urgent care facility where the councilman said his wife was diagnosed with a "bruised tendon."
After the phone allegedly struck his wife's wrist, Ed Lachterman said two men intervened and Seth Rothberg was thrown up against the truck, hard enough to cause damage to the vehicle.
A video from Carol Lachterman shows Seth Rothberg with his phone, and she can be heard saying, "Get that out of my face. Who are you?" The video does not show any physical altercation. Ed Lachterman said the video was stopped before it happened.
In a text message, Patricia Sullivan-Rothberg said there was "no physical contact" between her husband and Carol Lachterman. When asked why her husband was at the rally, she responded: "My husband is innocent of any wrong doing. But the better question is why, in a public shopping center, did Republican operatives attack my husband?"
Grace did not immediately respond to questions about the damage to his truck. The Yorktown Police said no one would be available to answer questions about the incident until Monday, Nov. 4.
On Facebook, the Yorktown Republican Party posted photos of Seth Rothberg at the rally with text reading "KNOW THIS GUY? We're hoping Councilman Lachterman's wife is ok after our opponent's operative assaulted her at our rally this morning. She is at the hospital getting X-rays."
As of 6 p.m. Sunday, the post was shared more than 50 times and amassed more than 70 comments.
In a statement to Yorktown News, Patricia Sullivan-Rothberg said her husband was publicly attacked and threatened in the parking lot of the Triangle Shopping Center and it "has been very upsetting for our family."
"He was then further attacked with a defamatory smear campaign that appeared on the Yorktown Republican Party Facebook Page," she said. "Politically motivated intimidation is reprehensible whether it is directed at me, a member of my family or a member of the public at large."
She said she will continue speaking to residents about issues they care about.
"This atrocious Trump-like behavior is the reason why good people are discouraged from running for office," Patricia Sullivan-Rothberg said.
She did not answer whether her husband would be pressing charges.
Lachterman said the two men "jumped to [Carol's] defense" in going after Rothberg.
"This is just a disgusting travesty here," Ed Lachterman said. "I was very grateful for the two people that jumped in to defend her because who would have known what this guy would have done?"
He said it was "infuriating" to find out the man was "my opponent's husband" and denounced her use of President Trump's name.
"This is why our country is so divided," Lachterman said.