PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The investigation continues into the Providence police officer and former Republican political candidate who reportedly assaulted his Democratic challenger at an abortion rights rally last week.

Patrolman Jeann Lugo, who had been running for state Senate, was arrested over the weekend after video surfaced online of him attacking Rhode Island Political Cooperative co-founder Jennifer Rourke at Friday night’s demonstration outside the State House.

Rourke told 12 News she was trying to keep the peace after an argument had broken out amongst attendees.

“It was a beautiful evening up until that point,” Rourke recalled.

That’s when she claims Lugo started punching her.

“I had never interacted with him, ever,” she said. “That was my first and hopefully my last interaction with him.”

In a statement prior to his arrest, Lugo said he “stepped in to protect someone that a group of agitators was attacking.”

“As an officer that swore to protect and serve our communities, I, unfortunately, saw myself in a situation that no individual should see themselves in,” he wrote.

The Providence Police Department immediately placed Lugo, who’s a three-year veteran of the force, on paid administrative leave following the incident.

The incident, which has drawn national attention, remains under investigation at this time. But Lugo’s attorney Daniel Griffin tells 12 News there is “far more to what occurred” than what’s being reported.

“We are working diligently to identify and speak to witnesses and we continue to obtain and analyze other video footage taken that night,” Griffin said in a statement.

Griffin said Lugo “has been a tremendous police officer in his time with the city.”

“He is a dedicated father and husband and a real asset to his community,” Griffin continued. “He trusts the process and believes that the actual facts will exonerate him.”

Lugo initially announced that he would seek the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor this year, but recently decided to end that campaign and instead seek the seat currently held by Senate Majority Leader Mike McCaffrey, D-Warwick. (Rourke had been challenging McCaffrey in the Democratic primary until he announced his retirement on Monday.)

But on Saturday afternoon, a message posted to Lugo’s Twitter account stated he would no longer be seeking political office this year. The account was then deactivated.

Gov. Dan McKee said that, if the allegations are true, Lugo should be “severely disciplined.”

“I would say the man should lose his job,” McKee said. “That’s just unacceptable.”

“Everybody should be held accountable for their behavior,” the governor continued. “It doesn’t matter what position they’re in.”

Lugo was released on personal recognizance and will be formally arraigned on July 8.