Police in Asheville, North Carolina on Tuesday announced the arrest of a suspect charged with assaulting a local television reporter at a counter-protest after violence erupted at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
The Asheville Police Department said Michael Patrick Faulkner, 38, was charged with simple assault for an “incident” that took place at the counter-protest and involved a reporter for WLOS, a local ABC News affiliate.
The police department on Monday asked for help identifying a suspect who they said assaulted a reporter during a Facebook livestream of the protest.
— Asheville Police (@AshevillePolice) August 14, 2017
Blue Ridge Public Radio reported on Sunday that around 100 people attended the counter-protest in Pack Square “to honor Heather Heyer,” a 32-year-old woman who died Saturday after a car plowed into protesters at the Charlottesville rally.
In the video on WLOS’ Facebook page, the cameraperson appeared to be walking through the crowd at the protest, and said, “I’m a reporter with WLOS. Right now we’re doing a Facebook Live.”
The man pictured in the Asheville Police Department’s tweet appeared to thrust his hand into the camera, covering the lens.
“Dude, you need to get your hands off of me,” the cameraperson said.
“Get out of my fucking face,” the other man replied. “Get out of the fucking crowd, dude. Move it,” he added. “I will fuck you up.”
“Get away from me,” the reporter said. “Get away from me.”
Later in the video, the other man reappeared, and said, “I don’t care who the fuck you are. Move. Where’s your fucking camera crew? Move. Walk the fuck off the block.”
“Dude, get away from me,” the reporter replied. “I will go get a police officer.”
“Go get a police officer. Do it, dude,” the man said. “Move it.”
“You literally followed me across this whole area!” the reporter said. “You’re literally on camera assaulting me.”