Palin, the former governor of Alaska and Sen. John McCain's running mate in 2008, has built a new life for herself as the political voice of many disenchanted conservatives, a pugnacious commentator and reality-television star. She and her family were at the center of what witnesses described as a brawl, according to media reports and witnesses at the scene.
Anchorage police would only say that they are investigating and that "alcohol was believed to have been a factor in the incident."
According to a statement emailed by police, the incident took place Saturday. Just before midnight, "police responded to a report of a verbal and physical altercation taking place between multiple subjects. ... A preliminary investigation by police revealed that a party had been taking place at a nearby residence and a fight had broken out between multiple subjects outside of the residence."
Political blogger Amanda Coyne reported that Palin, along with husband Todd and children Bristol, Willow and Track, arrived in a stretch Hummer and that the fighting started as the beer started flowing.
The Palin family was asked to leave the party after Track Palin, 21, attacked another guest who had previously dated his younger sister, Willow, witness Eric Thompson told ABC News.
"I heard Sarah Palin yell, 'Do you know who I am?' All of us could not believe it. We thought we were watching an episode of 'Jerry Springer,'" he said.
Bristol Palin threw a right hook, Thompson said.
"She was punching [another man] in the face like six times; it was an assault if I've ever seen one," said Thompson, who said he was among 70 guests at what he described as a birthday party in Anchorage.
"It wasn't a light punch either. She was really hitting him. I'm surprised he just sat there and took it," he said.
Sarah Palin has not commented on the incident even though she has appeared since the party on