A former constituent has come forward to recount his own physical encounter with Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-N.C.).
Etheridge caused an uproar earlier this week when video surfaced of him grabbing and manhandling a questioner on the streets of D.C.
Now Brandon Leslie says he had a similar encounter with Etheridge in 1996. From The Pilot in Southern Pines, N.C.:
In the fall of 1996, when Leslie was a senior at Pinecrest High School, he said he met Etheridge at a Pinecrest football game. Etheridge - then the state superintendent of public instruction - was challenging incumbent Republican David Funderburk for his congressional seat. At the time, Moore County was part of the 2nd District, which Etheridge now represents.
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."
Leslie, who noted that he's an Obama supporter, said watching the video of Etheridge this week was "almost like looking in a mirror."
"He doesn't like to be pressed," he said of Etheridge. "He's kind of a bully."