State Employee Released from Jail After Balloon Popping Incident

7/29/11 – An assistant director in the Division of State Facilities was released after he was arrested for allegedly shoving a protestor against a door and popping her balloon. 56-year-old Ronald Blair was booked on a possible charge of endangering safety with a dangerous weapon. Dane County’s chief prosecutor said he would review the case before making a decision on charges. Blair is not commenting on Monday’s incident, which happened during the daily sing-along at the State Capitol by protestors upset about the law that limits union bargaining. Leslie Peterson said she was getting ready to pose for a picture during the demonstration when Blair popped her balloon several times with a knife. And when she asked for his name to consider a complaint, Peterson said he shoved her against a door. Blood was found at the scene, but Blair told officers he stabbed his hand on a stairway before the incident. The balloons have become a symbol of the Capitol’s pro-union protests. Peterson told the Wisconsin State Journal yesterday that she feels bad it came down to this – and she said the protest was meant to be peaceful.