Arrest Warrant Issued For Man Who Attacked NBC Reporter During Hurricane Coverage
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Mississippi police are seeking an Ohio man in connection with the on-air assault.
Police have issued an arrest warrant for an Ohio man accused of assaulting a MSNBC reporter who was covering Hurricane Ida in Gulfport, Mississippi, during a citywide curfew.
MSNBC and NBC correspondent Shaquille Brewster was accosted on air during Monday’s coverage by a man who pulled up by the beach in a white truck and ran toward the crew shouting.
The Gulfport Police Department issued a statement Wednesday identified the suspect as Benjamin Eugene Dagley of Wooster, Ohio. Arrest warrants were issued charging him with simple assault, disturbance of the peace and violation of an emergency curfew.
Dagley may also have violated his probation by traveling to the area, police said. He’s on probation for a previous charge in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Gulfport police believe that Dagley is no longer on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and is traveling in a white 2016 Ford F150 with the Ohio license plate number PJR1745. Police asked anyone with information about his whereabouts to contact their local law enforcement agency.
Brewster kept his composure and continued reporting while the man was harassing the camera crew. However, moments later, the man was seen running up to Brewster and shouting aggressively in his face what sounded like “report it accurately!”
The shot then cut back to MSNBC host Craig Melvin, who appeared concerned and startled by the interruption.
“Hey! Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey,” he said. “We’re going to check in with Shaq Brewster just to make sure all is well. There is a lot of crazy out there. There is a lot of crazy!”
Brewster later tweeted that he was OK:
MSNBC President Rashida Jones and several of Brewster’s colleagues later offered words of support and praise for Brewster after the incident.
“Shaq Brewster is an exceptional journalist,” Jones said in a statement. “Like the consummate professional, he did not let someone intimidate him from doing his job. We’re glad he and the team are safe, and we couldn’t be more proud and supportive of their work.”
Watch the video of the incident below.