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Charges dropped against man accused of snatching protestor’s sign

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A longtime conservative lawyer charged following an altercation at a Richmond protest is no longer facing charges.

Seventy-four-year-old James E. Hinish, of Williamsburg, had been charged with simple assault following the protest when he allegedly grabbed a liberal protestor’s sign on July 10.

However, prosecutors spoke with the victim and she agreed the charge should be dropped.

As a result, CBS 6 News’ Rob Cardwell reports Hinnish did not appear in court Tuesday. His lawyer appeared on his behalf.

Both the accused, Hinish, and the alleged victim, Kathy Carle, agree that he snatched her protest sign out her hands. But they disagree on what happened in the moments prior.

The sign read: “GOP It’s 2012 NOT 1912.”

Carle, a democratic supporter, was among a large group of protestors who gathered at the James Center to counter a rally held by conservative groups decrying the claim by Democrats that the GOP is engaged in a war on women.

Mark Holmberg reports Carle said a man approached her and “had some really rather bizarre, kind of off-the-wall comments he was making about Medicare and just wouldn’t go away.

So I kind of brushed him off and said, ‘You need to do your homework.’ And that really enraged him. He got up in my face, got his finger out. I thought he was going to hit me, but instead, he grabbed the sign and ripped it out of my hands.” [Read more of Mark Holmberg’s report]

Watch CBS 6 News at Noon and check back with for Rob Cardwell’s complete report.