'I'm not angry at you:' State senator beaten outside capitol believes in restorative justice

MADISON -- A state lawmaker beat up by protesters in June says the attack fires him up to do more. Senator Tim Carpenter adds he is not angry with his attackers.

Sen. Tim Carpenter

He was attacked on June 24 around midnight outside the state capitol.

"The concussion, I had a sore jaw. I had a cut over the eye, my ear, my kneck was sore, I was kicked in the side," Carpenter recounted. His nose was also broken, which required surgery.

Madison police are still looking for those who hurt the Milwaukee Democrat. They released these images of person of interest.

FOX6 asked Carpenter, "What did you see when you saw their photos?"

"It brought up emotions probably because I never hit anyone in my life. I've never been beaten up before. I have separated fights, I just don't like violence," he answered.

A witness told police roughly 10 people punched and kicked the senator.

"If I got a chance to talk to them, I'd say: 'I'm not angry at you.' It doesn't matter, it doesn't pay anything for me to be angry, it's something that happened in the past. But I sure would like to work out that we wouldn't have any more violence in Madison or Milwaukee, that would be the long term goal," he said.

Sen. Carpenter looks for restorative justice.

"I think there will have to be some kind of penalty. But the thing is if they've grown and understand and say, 'I'm sorry. It's a misunderstanding.' That, I think, goes a long way. But, it can't change the past, but if there's some way to have the event turn something negative into a positive, that's the best thing I can ask for," he declared.

Now the 60-year old says the attack inspires him — to work for more change. He says he's an ally of the peaceful calls for police reform. That fateful night in June, he wanted to capture video of the protesters, when some in the crowd charged him.

"Violence doesn't work. We have to work together. Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk."

Someday, maybe he will be able tell his attackers he forgives them.

After all he went through, Carpenter tells FOX6 he has no plans to retire from the state legislature, where's he's served for more than 35 years.

If you recognize the attackers, you can call the Madison Area Crimestoppers.