Update: Now we’re hearing this from the Wisconsin Department of Administration:
Shortly before 1PM today, an incident occurred at the State Capitol involving a State employee and a citizen. The citizen allegedly brought a balloon into the Capitol and the State employee allegedly broke the balloon. The State employee indicated that prior to the incident he slipped on the stairs and cut his hand. Capitol Police are investigating the incident and interviewing witnesses. The employee has sought medical attention for the cut to his hand.
Within the past hour, we saw a whole bunch of shocking-sounding tweets out of Wisconsin, as a witness claimed a protester was stabbed by a state government employee, then amended his story to say it was an attack, but not a stabbing. The latest information NBC’s Madison, Wisconsin, affiliate has reported is that a government worker apparently did try to puncture a red balloon carried by an activist and accidentally stabbed himself.
Why would a government worker try to puncture a balloon? Funny you should ask. Red, heart-shaped balloons have become a symbol of the protest movement in the capitol–all because one little balloon floated skyward one day and stayed there. Update: a commenter notes that the government’ worker’s motivation may not be political, which is a cautionary note well worth taking.