Another eyewitness to the Palin family brawl emerged on Tuesday, telling TPM she was shocked by the violent punches she saw being thrown by the eldest daughter of former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
Roberta Thompson spoke to TPM by phone from her home in Alaska. Until now, her husband, Eric Thompson, has been one of only two people to go on the record about what took place at the Sept. 6 house party in Anchorage. (Eric Thompson has said he was later fired from his job for speaking to the media.)
The melees at that night’s party have led to an ongoing police investigation and reports that Sarah Palin’s husband and son were injured while tussling with other party guests before the family was kicked out of the house.
“It was just so shocking,” Roberta Thompson told TPM.
She mostly confirmed what her husband told multiple news outlets last week, saying that the two of them were right next to each other during the incident. But she provided her own take on how the events unfolded, including a portion that she said involved the eldest Palin daughter, Bristol Palin, and the owner of the house, Korey Klingenmeyer.
“What I saw was two girls run past and run towards Korey,” Roberta Thompson said. “And then I just saw Bristol Palin start punching him in the face.”
“It was quite, quite violent,” she added.
She said Klingenmeyer was clearly upset about what was happening but maintained his composure.
“She kept punching him and then he just said, you know, ‘You need to go,'” Thompson said.
Klingenmeyer escorted the Palins around the corner from there, Thompson said, and she did not see what happened after that. Other news reports of the incident have said another physical altercation involving members of the Palin family broke out after that. One report cited an anonymous source who said Sarah Palin was “nearly crawling on top of people” and shouting profanities during the later altercation.
Roberta Thompson didn’t see Sarah Palin directly involved in any of the fights but she did notice the former Alaska governor’s red, white and blue sneakers.
“I try not to pay too much attention because she doesn’t mean anything to me,” Thompson said. “I’m not a big fan.”
She said she wishes she took out her cell phone to capture all the mayhem.
“I didn’t know what was going on at all,” Thompson said. “I just, if, if I would’ve known a little bit more, I probably would’ve taken my phone out.”
She also expressed her frustration about the police investigation and that no charges have been filed. She said she, her husband and a number of other party guests spoke to investigators that night.
“I just think when people assault other people that they should be arrested,” she said. “Or at least charged. Especially when there’s that many eyewitnesses. I don’t think just because you’re a Palin that you should not have to suffer the same consequences as any other person.”
On Saturday, the website Real Clear Politics published an article quoting a “source close to the Palin family” who confirmed that the Palins were involved in physical altercations that night but disputed how it all began as well as some other details.
The source, for instance, disputed reports that Bristol Palin had a “a particularly strong right hook,” noting that the Palin daughter was left-handed.
In her interview with TPM, Thompson lamented that her husband had been fired from his job last week. The party at the house was held as a birthday celebration for twin brothers Matt and Marc McKenna who run the paving company her husband worked at in Anchorage.
“We call them the boys, the McKenna brothers, and, and they’re not responding to him,” she said. “And we consider them wonderful people and good friends of ours so we’re having a really hard time dealing with the fact that they won’t return calls.”
Roberta Thompson confirmed her husband had also set up a GoFundMe page to raise money. The page features a video of Eric Thompson speaking briefly about losing his job.
“I could use a job,” Eric Thompson said in the video. “But until I get a job, I could use a hand.”
The video ends with him holding up a cardboard sign that reads “Won’t Work 4 Palin!”
As of Tuesday evening, the page had raised more than $2,500.
Roberta Thompson said her husband had some family help setting up the site.
“Our nephew, he designed it for him yesterday,” she said. “Since he doesn’t have a job right now and you know he’s never asked for a dime from anyone in his whole life. … We’re kind of stuck in a spot right now.”