LOVELAND, Colo. (CBS4) – The Democratic party would like to be focused on securing votes in Colorado with only a few days left until Election Day, but they were forced to react Thursday to allegations of unlawful sexual contact by a campaign worker.
Police say Luke Buchanan, 24, was knocking on doors for the Obama campaign in Loveland Tuesday night when he inappropriately touched a resident.
Breana Haner was that resident, and she told CBS4′s Valerie Castro she was shocked by what happened.
“At first I was really upset,” said Haner, 21. “I was crying. I felt violated. I was embarrassed.”
Haner says Buchanan came to the front door of her home and identified himself as being part of the Obama campaign. He then talked to her for a few minutes while she stood in the doorway.
Then she says he asked if she would like a campaign sticker.
“I reached out to grab the sticker from him and he was like ‘No, we’ve been putting it on people ourselves’ and I just remember thinking ‘That’s weird, why would you do that?’ ” she said.
She says before she could react he then put the sticker on for her, and patted it on, cradling her breast with his hand in the process.
“He put the sticker right here, right where my nipple (is),” she said.
Buchanan then left and Haner told her mother, who was inside the house, what had happened.
“I said ‘Mom, something just happened. Someone from the Obama campaign just grabbed my boob.’ “
Haner then called the local Obama campaign office and they directed her to a manager. Police say with help from campaign officials they identified Buchanan as the suspect.
Buchanan was allegedly headed out of state when police tracked him down, and Haner says police told her he confessed to his act.
“You don’t expect someone, especially from a campaign, regardless of who it is, you don’t expect them to grab you,” said Haner, who is a first time voter.
Colorado Democratic Party Communications Director Matt Inzeo said they have a “zero tolerance policy” for such behavior and they have terminated Buchanan’s employment. They have also apologized to Haner for what happened.
Buchanan is a resident of Washington.
“The actions of one individual in no way reflect the hard work being done every day by the thousands of employees and volunteers the Colorado Democratic Party who have spent countless hours talking to their friends and neighbors about the importance of this election,” Inzeo said.