updated 11/8/2006 2:25:30 PM ET 2006-11-08T19:25:30

The son of Sen. Bill Nelson was arrested early Wednesday after allegedly pushing an officer in a confrontation hours after he had taken the stage at his father's re-election party.

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Charles William Nelson, 30, was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest.

According to a police report, an officer approached Nelson when he saw a woman slumped on the ground next to him, apparently passed out. The officer said Nelson smelled strongly of alcohol, his speech was slurred and he had poor balance.

The report quoted the younger Nelson as saying the woman, identified as Kimberly Baxter, was fine. It did not say what their relationship was.

Police say Nelson tried to pick her up and drag her away, dropping her when the officer instructed him to put her down. The report said the senator's son attempted to push the officer away, then was pepper-sprayed for two to three seconds and handcuffed.

A police spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking additional detail Wednesday. A spokesman for the senator, Dan McLaughlin, said Nelson was released from custody.

Nelson lives in Washington and is a Medicaid/Medicare consultant. The senator, a Democrat, issued a statement saying he and his wife didn't know all the facts but "love our son and support him."

In Tuesday's election, the elder Nelson handily rebuffed a challenge from Republican Rep. Katherine Harris, who played a key role in the 2000 presidential election as Florida's secretary of state.

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