Bob Etheridge, N.C. Congressman, Allegedly Got Rough With Another Student

06/18/2010 03:19 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Nick Wing Senior Viral Editor, The Huffington Post

Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.), the legislator who notoriously got rough with an anonymous "student" reporter on a Washington D.C. street last weekend, may have been involved in a similar incident in 1996, a former high school journalist Brandon Leslie said Friday.

Here's the report from North Carolina's The Pilot newspaper.

Leslie said he introduced himself to Etheridge and asked him about his stance on a particular education program. He said Etheridge didn't answer his question, so he pressed him two more times.

"And that's when he grabbed me by the shoulders, he shook me, and I'll never forget it, he said, 'Son, you need to learn to respect your elders,'" he said by phone on Wednesday. "I was just so taken aback, I think my jaw just dropped, and he walked off."

"He doesn't like to be pressed," Leslie later said of Etheridge, according to the Pilot. "He's kind of a bully."

Etheridge apologized shortly after the most recent incident become public Monday, but many commentators said that the congressman's actions amounted to assault and warranted a his resignation.

Later on Friday, Ben Greene, the retired principal of the high school that Leslie attended, disputed his former student's claim that Etheridge had grappled him back in 1996.

From The Hill:

"The story in today's Pilot is inaccurate," Greene said in a statement released by Etheridge's office, referring to the paper that reported Leslie's allegation. "I witnessed the event firsthand 14 years ago. The student was in the wrong, and Bob Etheridge acted appropriately at all times."