The U.S. Capitol is seen in Washington, DC on January 22, 2018 after the US Senate reached a deal to reopen the federal government, with Democrats accepting a compromise spending bill.
April 10, 2018 8:27 AM EDT

Gubernatorial candidate Lee Whitnum was arrested after crashing a debate held for Democratic candidates in Brookfield, Conn., on Monday night, forcing police officers to drag her offstage.

The candidates’ debate at Brookfield High School was organized by the Brookfield Democratic Town Committee, who had previously told Whitney, a long-shot candidate who had once called Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) a “whore” during a televised debate, that she was unwelcome at the event, according to NBC Connecticut. Her surprise appearance onstage alongside the seven candidates for governor was captured by television channel News 12.

In footage of the incident posted on social media, Whitnum appears to grip the table onstage and refuses to stand up, while shouting, “I am a Democratic candidate for governor!” She is then forcibly removed by two officers, who are applauded by the audience as they drag Whitnum by the ankles. After Whitnum is removed, the other candidates return onstage.

“I had every right to be at that debate,” Whitnum said in a later statement. “I am a declared candidate for governor. My paperwork was filed more than a year ago. I told them I would be attending.”

Whitnum was arrested on breach of peace charges and trespassing, and was released on a $500 bail. She is due to appear in court on April 19.

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