- Google image/Creative Commons license
Donald Trump's presidential campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was charged Tuesday with battery for allegedly roughly grabbing a reporter earlier this month, police in Florida said.
"He was arrested this morning and released with a notice to appear," Adam Brown, a spokesman for police in the town in Jupiter, told AFP.
Lewandowski is accused of grabbing a female reporter, Michelle Fields, so hard that it left bruises on her arm, at a news conference by the Republican frontrunner in Florida on March 8.
Both Lewandowski and Trump deny the incident took place, and the campaign quickly disputed the fact that Lewandowski, 42, was arrested.
"Mr. Lewandowski was issued a Notice to Appear and given a court date. He was not arrested," said a Trump campaign statement.
"Mr. Lewandowski is absolutely innocent of this charge. He will enter a plea of not guilty and looks forward to his day in court. He is completely confident that he will be exonerated."
Lewandowski has vehemently denied the veracity of the incident, which allegedly took place as Trump fielded questions while leaving the news conference.
"@MichelleFields you are totally delusional. I never touched you," he posted on Twitter. "As a matter of fact, I have never even met you."
According to a police report seen by AFP, Fields — who has since resigned from the conservative site Breitbart News — showed "bruising from what appeared to be several finger marks indicating a grabbing type injury."
Police said the investigation had found "probable cause" to charge Lewandowski with the misdemeanor simple battery "in that he did intentionally touch Michelle Fields... against the will of Michelle Fields."
Jupiter police had previously released video surveillance footage that appeared to support the reporter's account of events.