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Charges dropped in assault on 69-year-old woman at Trump campaign rally

FILE - Shirley Teter speaks with News 13's Evan Donovan on Sept. 15, 2016. (WLOS)

UPDATE: With regard to the following story, Buncombe County court documents show the charge was dismissed April 21, 2017, through prosecutorial discretion, after consultation with the victim and review of the case. A lawyer for Richard Campbell tells News 13 that Mr. Campbell did not do anything illegal or offensive and the victim’s allegations were a hoax.

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) - Charges of assault on an elderly woman at an Asheville rally for then-candidate Donald Trump have been dropped.

Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams confirmed the charges were dismissed against Richard Campbell, 73, of Edisto Island, South Carolina.

The alleged incident happened outside the packed Trump campaign rally at the U.S. Cellular Center on Sept. 12, 2016.

Shirley Teter, 69, who lives in an apartment building downtown, told News 13 and police that Campbell "turned around and just cold-cocked me."An attorney for Campbell later denied the allegation, saying Campbell merely turned to brush Teter off after she first grabbed him by the shoulder from behind. He was charged with assault on a female.

Buncombe County court documents show the charge was dismissed April 21 through prosecutorial discretion, after consultation with the victim and review of the case. A lawyer for Richard Campbell tells News 13 he did not do anything illegal or offensive and the victim’s allegations were a hoax.

A cell phone video released by a man walking behind Teter showed her falling to the ground as people nearby audibly gasped, but the video did not capture how she was struck at the moment it happened.

A controversial conservative group released a secretly recorded video in October claiming Teter was a trained Democratic operative.

About 7,000 people attended the Trump rally, and hundreds of anti-Trump protesters stood outside the U.S. Cellular Center holding signs and voicing their opposition.

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RETRACTION: To the extent we ever reported, as fact, that Mr. Campbell punched or otherwise made illegal contact with the alleged victim, we retract such statements. We merely sought to report on his arrest and allegations made in connection therewith. We apologize for any confusion.

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