Daughter of Illinois State Rep Accused of Attacking Mother's Opponent With Staple Gun

The daughter of Illinois State Representative Cynthia Soto has been arrested and charged with attacking her mom’s opponent with a staple gun. Robert Zwolinski, who was running against Rep. Soto, tweeted a harrowing photo of himself with a pretty clear staple wound to the head.

Police have charged Jessica Soto and Bradley Fichter, both 26, both volunteering on Cynthia Soto’s reelection campaign, with three felony counts of aggravated battery. Initial reports said Soto and Fichter started arguing with an unidentified 30-year-old man on a city block around 9 p.m. on March 6 before hitting him with a bottle and a “metal object.”


Friday morning, DNAInfo Chicago learned that Soto is the daughter of the incumbent, Fichter is her boyfriend, and the metal object was a staple gun. That makes Zwolinski’s injuries make a little more sense. Brace yourselves:

Zwolinski said the argument began when he saw Soto and Fichter stapling posters to his campaign office, while Fichter filed a counter-claim, alleging that Zwolinski ripped down Soto signs and “attacked first.” Zwolinski also said the lady holding the staple gun walked over to a car where his girlfriend was sitting and threatened her with the object too.

In these instances, it’s tempting to assume the person with the obviously broken nose and the staple wound in his forehead is the victim, but we suppose that’s speculation.


A lawyer for Fichter and Soto confirmed to DNAINfo that she is one of Rep. Soto’s three daughters, but insisted she was not the woman involved in the attack, which is one way to go here.

In the meantime, Zwolinski lost his race against Rep. Soto on Tuesday by an extremely wide margin. The staple enthusiasts were due in court Friday morning.


Jessica Soto and Bradley Fichter. Mugshots via Chicago Police/NBC 5

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About the author

Anna Merlan

Anna Merlan was a Senior Reporter at G/O Media until September 2019. She's the author of Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power.

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