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Oct. 22 - Georgia Tech Student Files Civil Battery Complaint Against U.S. Senator David Perdue

Lawsuit Stems from Incident on Georgia Tech Campus With Perdue, a U.S. Senator and the GT Foundation Treasurer

CEN Staff Report

October 22, 2018 – The Atlanta-based law firm Dreyer Sterling, LLC filed a complaint for civil battery today against U.S. Senator and Georgia Tech Foundation Treasurer David Perdue.

The suit was filed in Fulton County State Court on behalf of Nate Knauf, a Georgia Tech student who attempted to ask Sen. Perdue, “How can you endorse a candidate who would deny voter registration based on race?”

Sen. Perdue was on campus Sat., Oct. 13 to campaign for Georgia gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp. Instead of answering the question posed by the student and Georgia voter, Sen. Perdue ripped the student's cell phone out of his hand in the midst of a video recording.

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial, damages, attorneys’ fees and costs from Sen. Perdue.

“We are fully confident in our case and we look forward to an apology and a polite answer to our client’s question,” stated attorney and Georgia State Rep. David Dreyer said. “The law is as clear in this case as any I’ve seen. The cell phone is an extension of the hand and Sen. Perdue committed battery when he touched the student’s hand and pulled the cell phone away from the student.”

Knauf, a junior computer science major with a 3.95 GPA, believes that his voice is as important as any other Georgia voter or any of Sen. Perdue’s constituents. “I was polite and respectful as I started to ask a question that is important to me and is, in fact, important to the health of our Democracy,” Knauf said. “Instead of answering in a civil and respectful way, Sen. Perdue ripped the phone out of my hands.”

Attorney Michael Sterling, a former Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, believes there should be a quick resolution. “The law in this case couldn’t be any simpler and more clear,” Sterling said. “Given the facts of the incident and the overwhelming legal precedent in favor of our client, we expect Sen. Perdue should work quickly to resolve this case.”

The law firm terms Perdue "a close confidant and unwavering supporter of President Trump."

"Sen. Perdue has a history of evasiveness and disrespect to voters like that seen at Trump campaign rallies and carried into the White House. Recently, during the controversy surrounding the Kavanaugh nomination, Sen. Perdue ducked into a bathroom at an airport to avoid talking with a survivor of sexual assault," the firm states in announcing the legal action. 

There has been no official statement by Sen. Perdue on the incident or the law suit. 

Earlier in the week, Sen. Perdue had been touring the hurricane damage in Middle Georgia, following President Donald Trump’s visit there, along with U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Vice President Mike Pence and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue as they went to Bainbridge, Moultrie, and Albany. Georgia farmers and producers who have been devastated by Hurricane Michael.  Gov. Deal also joined the tour along with other state and local officials.

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