UPDATE: Mon County Democrats issue statement in support of Del. Caputo

MARION COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV/WSAZ) -- UPDATE 09/10/19 @ 6:22 p.m.
The Monongalia Democratic Executive Committee issued a statement in support of Del. Mike Caputo.

"Delegate Caputo is a good man who stands on principle and integrity. He is also a spirited defender of the dignity of every West Virginian and was understandably enraged when the Capitol, our temple of democracy, was defiled by the racist drivel shown on an official Republican Party display.

"The incident reminded many of us of a story from the Christian Bible, where the presence of merchants in a holy temple caused an otherwise peaceful man to lose his temper temporarily.

"Delegate Caputo apologized for his actions, and the House of Delegates handled the matter in accordance with its own rules.

"We believe the filing of criminal charges at this late date is an abuse of the court system and an attempt to divert attention from the failure of the Legislature to accomplish anything of substance under its current leadership."

Caputo has been charged with battery after an incident where he allegedly pushed the chamber door into the House of Delegates doorman in March. He was charged with a misdemeanor.

UPDATE 09/10/19 @ 9:36 a.m.
Delegate Michael Caputo (D- Marion) released a statement after he was charged with battery.

Caputo says that he was very surprised and disappointed to learn that he was charged for his actions.

"I have already apologized for losing my temper that day, but I certainly didn’t intend to physically hurt anyone, and don’t believe I committed a crime," Caputo said.

Caputo says that he has lawyers representing him.

Caputo has been charged with battery after an incident where he allegedly pushed the chamber door into the House of Delegates doorman in March. He was charged with a misdemeanor.

UPDATE 09/09/19 @ 12:20 p.m.
Delegate Michael Caputo (D- Marion) has been charged with battery after an incident where he allegedly pushed the chamber door into the House of Delegates doorman in March.

According to the criminal complaint, Caputo was making a commotion, talking loud and saying nasty things as he was going up the steps inside the State Capital building.

The criminal complaint says that Caputo pushed into the door. The doorman was injured and sought medical attention at the building and a local hospital.

One delegate said in an interview with Capitol Police that Caputo pushed her out of his way with her elbow.

The delegate told police that she wasn't initially hurt but did seek medical attention for the pain she experienced.

Caputo is scheduled to appear in court on September 30 at 10 a.m at the Kanawha County Judicial Building.

UPDATE 3/8/19 11:10AM
Two separate motions to formally punish Del. Mike Caputo (D - Marion) were tabled Friday in the House of Delegates.

The resolutions were in response to Capito kicking in a door that hurt a doorman last week.

One resolution would have expelled Caputo from office. The other would have censured the House Minority Whip.

Several Republicans spoke out against Caputo leading up to the votes. Del. Tim Miley (D - Harrison) made a motion to table the resolution expelling Caputo. It was adopted 65-35.

Del. Steve Westfall (R - Jackson) moved to table the resolution censuring Caputo. It was adopted 62-38.

UPDATE 3/8/19 10:50AM
Two "House Resolutions" listed on the agenda for the West Virginia House of Delegates schedule Friday involve Del. Mike Caputo, D - Marion County.

One resolution seeks to censure Caputo, while the other seeks his expulsion.

Last Friday, Caputo admitted and apologized after he kicked in the door to the West Virginia House Chamber, injuring a doorkeeper. The doorkeeper was sent to the hospital to be evaluated.

The March 1 incident happened on a day when tensions were running high at the West Virginia Capitol. Click here for that story.

As a part of "GOP Day" outside the chamber doors, a woman set up a poster with an anti-Muslim sentiment that angered many delegates.

The resolution to expel Caputo says, in part:

"Whereas, on March 1, 2019, Delegate Mike Caputo engaged in verbal and physical conduct unbecoming of a representative of the people of West Virginia during the House Floor Session. As he attempted to enter the House Chamber during the time reserved for the pledge and prayer, he found the door being kept shut by an assistant doorkeeper. Despite being aware of the assistant doorkeeper's duties, Delegate Caputo deliberately and violently forced his way into the House Chamber, resulting in physical injury of the assistant doorkeeper and requiring him to seek medical attention.

Whereas, As Delegate Caputo entered the House Chamber, he addressed the injured doorkeeper in passing using disrespectful and vulgar language, saying "Open the G** D*** Door I am a member and I can come in any time I want." Prior to taking his seat, Delegate Caputo expressed no interest in the assistant doorkeeper's well-being."

"I feel just as horrible about that as you could ever imagine," Caputo said on Saturday, the day after the incident.

Caputo issued an apology to the doorkeeper, Speaker of the House Roger Hanshaw, and other delegates at the start of Saturday's session.

"I will do my best to rebuild your trust and your confidence in me because that's who Mike Caputo is," he said.

ORIGINAL STORY 3/4/19
Marion County Delegate and House Minority Whip Mike Caputo will not be serving on his committees for the remainder of the session due to an incident that happened last Friday.

Caputo aggressively opened a door, reportedly injuring a doorkeeper, after an anti-Muslim display was put outside of the House Chamber.

Caputo told 5 News that the incident began when members of the Democratic party started expressing anger over the display, which was put up by a vendor participating in WVGOP Day at the Capitol.

"I knew there was gonna a lot of anger and anxiety on the House floor that day. So, I tried to get in there to meet with the Speaker to let him know what was going on and try to bring some calm to what I thought was going to be an extremely volatile situation," Caputo said.

Caputo said he tried to enter the Chamber between the opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, but the doorkeeper had blocked the door off. He then decided to enter anyway.

"I made a huge mistake and forced myself through the door. I let emotions take over there, which was an extremely bad decision on my part and I've owned up to that. I'm not making any excuses for that, but we can't lose sight of what led up to that."

Caputo told us he's apologized to both the Republican and Democratic Caucuses as well as his family and friends. He says he has asked Speaker Hanshaw to facilitate a meeting between himself and the doorkeeper so he can apologize. He says he doesn't know how badly the doorkeeper was hurt.

"I've heard different things from a minor bruise to a broken rib, and I deeply regret that. I've never intentionally hurt anyone in my life. There was certainly no intent here."

The House Communications Department confirmed to 5 News Monday morning that Caputo will not serve on his committees --House Rules, Industry and Labor, Energy, and Government Organization-- for the remainder of the session (which ends this week) due to the incident.

Caputo says he's "disappointed" about Speaker Hanshaw's decision, but that he will do his best to represent Marion County from the House floor.

"That's certainly his [Hanshaw's] prerogative. As Speaker, he removes or assigns anyone to or from any committee. He has chosen to do that, so I'll be representing the people of Marion County the best I possibly can from the House floor for the next six days."

In a statement Monday, West Virginia Democrat Chairwoman Belinda Biafore called the action hypocritical.

"Speaker Hanshaw's hypocrisy by stripping Delegate Caputo of his committee assignments is unreal, while Republican Delegate Porterfield was never reprimanded and is apparently supported in his hate speech and acts of verbal violence toward the LGBTQ community," Biafore said.

Biafore is referring to comments made by Delegate Eric Porterfield (R-Mercer) last month comparing the LGBTQ community to the Khu Klux Klan. The West Virginia Republican Party denounced Porterfield's comments, but no known punishment has been given.

Friday's display, which falsely connected the 9/11 terrorist attacks to U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, (D-Minnesota), ignited a fiery debate on the House floor about whether it should be allowed to stay due to the First Amendment.

On Friday, Hanshaw released a statement denouncing hate and referred to incidents that happened outside of the Chamber.

“The West Virginia House of Delegates unequivocally rejects hate in all of its forms. As we began today’s floor session, we had a series of incidents occur in and outside of our Chamber that absolutely do not reflect the character and civility the people of this state demand of their public servants," Hanshaw said. "Leadership of the House of Delegates is currently working to investigate these incidents to learn firsthand the factual basis of what occurred, and will respond with appropriate action."

House Sergeant-at-Arms Anne Lieberman resigned Sunday after Del. Michael Angelucci (D-Marion) accused her of calling all Muslims terrorists. In a statement to the media, Lieberman defended herself, saying that Angelucci statement was inaccurate.

In the statement, she said Angelucci was angry about the anti-Muslim display and went on a "tirade" speaking about "Christian terrorists shooting up churches."

"I know for certain that I said - verbatim- that "Not all Muslims are terrorists," but that THOSE (9/11) terrorists WERE all Muslim, trying to bring the discussion back to his original complaint.," Lieberman stated.

Lieberman said she later reported the incident between Caputo and the doorkeeper before offering to resign.

"I explained all that I knew to have happened and offered to resign if it would help diffuse the situation. It didn't take long for my offer to be accepted."