Mississippi police are on the hunt for the man who allegedly harassed NBC News and MSCNBC reporter Shaquille Brewster during live coverage of the devastating Hurricane Ida. Authorities issued an arrest warrant Tuesday charging the man, identified as Benjamin Eugene Dagley, with two counts of simple assault, one count of disturbing the peace, and one count of violating an emergency curfew, according to a news release from the Gulfport Police Department.
According to NBC News, police officials believe that Dagley may also be in violation of probation for a previous charge in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, that barred him from traveling without authorization. “Further investigation revealed that Dagley has left the area and is no longer on the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” the release said. “The Gulfport Police Department would like to thank the public for coming forward and helping identify Dagley.”
Brewster was reporting live on a beach in Gulport Monday when a man pulled up in a white pickup truck and rushed toward him, yelling.
“I think we even have a random person going around,” Brewster said during the live broadcast. He and the cameraman attempted to move to continue the report. “We deal with some people every once in a while.”
But the situation quickly escalated when the man came at Brewster and yelled at his face. “Cover this accurately!” The last scene before the live segment abruptly cut was Brewster shielding himself from the man with his arm. According to NBC News, Brewster had initially assumed pets were charging at him from behind as a family strolled the beach with dogs earlier. He didn’t realize it was the same man who ran toward him before. Colleagues at the scene were able to separate Dagley from Brewster until he left.
Moments after the segment cut, Brewster shared he was doing fine on Twitter.
“Appreciate the concern, guys. The team and I are all good!” he said in a tweet.
Multiple journalists, including MSNBC President Rashida Jones, praised Brewster’s courage for staying cool as a “consummate professional.”
“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,” she said.
As of this report, Dagley has not been arrested or reached via phone. Reporters for NBC News reached out to a lawyer who previously represented Dagley in a separate criminal case to no avail.
According to Cleveland police investigators, as Cleveland.com reports, the case stems from a 2017 incident in which the Ohio man broke into an electroplating company he once owned and drilled holes in tanks of dangerous chemicals. The incident resulted in at least one employee being sent to the hospital for exposure to toxic chemicals. It also risked a potential environmental disaster, officials said. As a result, Dagley was charged with misdemeanor assault for breaking and entering, and injuring a security guard in the process. After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to five years probation and 30 days in jail.
Police officials on the lookout for Dagley believe he is traveling in a white 2016 Ford F150 bearing the Ohio license plate PJR1745. Why he was in Gulfport, Mississippi, in the middle of a major storm is unclear.
From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.