Alaska Native activist alleges assault by Wasilla mayor

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaska Native activist says she was assaulted by the mayor of a small town as protestors took over a seating area intended for lawmakers during a contentious session of the Alaska Legislature that’s taking place in two cities.

Haliehana (hah-lee-hah-nah) Stepetin filed a citizen’s complaint with Wasilla police Thursday.

Stepetin alleges Wasilla Mayor Bert Cottle grabbed her arm without her permission Wednesday as she attempted to take an empty seat at the gathering of Republicans. Her complaint alleges House Minority spokesman Zach Freeman also grabbed her arm in an incident captured by photos and video.

Messages left with police and Cottle’s office weren’t immediately returned.

About 20 minority Republicans have refused to join a majority of lawmakers in Juneau, where they are attempting to override Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget vetoes.

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