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Comedian who punched journalist charged with assault

Thursday - 9/26/2013, 3:50pm  ET

UPDATE: Thursday - 9/26/2013, 3:49pm ET

WASHINGTON - A comedian who says he was offended by tweets a journalist sent criticizing performers during a charity event in Washington is charged with assaulting the journalist.

Police in Washington say Dan Nainan was charged with simple assault Wednesday night after an incident at the DC Improv club.

Officer Araz Alali said Thursday that a man said Nainan punched him in the face twice after Nainan's performance at a benefit for the Pension Rights Center and the Foundation for the Education and the Rebirth of Haiti.

The police report identifies the victim as Josh Rogin, who is senior correspondent for Newsweek's The Daily Beast. The report also says a witness saw a punch.

Nainan tells The Associated Press that he did not punch Rogin but did push him twice.

EARLIER: Thursday - 9/26/2013, 10:22am ET

WASHINGTON - A local comedian punched a Washington journalist at a Dupont Circle comedy club Wednesday night over the reporter's social media heckling, according to The Washington Post.

Police reportedly arrested stand-up comedian Dan Nainan after he was accused of punching Josh Rogin -- a foreign policy reporter for the Daily Beast -- at DC Improv, The Washington Post says.

According to Rogin, Nainan approached him in the audience after the journalist tweeted criticism of Nainan's routine, the Post says.

Nainan approached Rogin in the crowd, Rogin said.

"He said, ĎAre you Josh Rogin?' I said 'yes,' and he punched me in the jaw," Rogin said, according to the Post.

Rogin said Nainan also pushed him, walked away and then returned to take two more swings, according to The Post. Rogin said police were called and arrested Nainan, and U.S. News & World Report says Nainan was led away in handcuffs.

Calls to the Metropolitan Police Department about the incident have not been returned to WTOP. Police told the Post an arrest was made for simple assault but did not release the suspect's name.

Nainan was headlining the "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest Wednesday evening. Those scheduled to appear included Ralph Nader, the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page, NPR's Jamie McIntyre, James Lucier -- president of Capital Alpha -- and Heather Higgins of the Independent Women's Forum, among others.

The extent of Rogin's injuries weren't totally clear, but he tweeted that he was fine.

Nainan, for his part, appeared in good spirits last night.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

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