CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Police said a West Virginia journalist was arrested after yelling questions at U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
Price and senior white House aide Kellyanne Conway visited the state Capitol in Charleston on Tuesday to learn about efforts to fight opioid addiction in a state that has the nation’s highest overdose death rate.
Capital police said in a criminal complaint that Daniel Ralph Heyman, 54, was yelling questions at the two. It says he tried to breach Secret Service security and had to be removed from a hallway at the Capitol.
He was charged with willful disruption of governmental processes, a misdemeanor.
Heyman, who works for Public News Service, said he was arrested after asking repeatedly whether domestic violence would be considered a pre-existing condition under the proposed health care overhaul.
“I’m not sure why, but at some point, I think they decided I was just too persistent in asking this question and trying to do my job and so they arrested me,” he said during a news conference that was posted on Facebook by the American Civil Liberties Union.
His attorney, Tim DePiero, called it a “highly unusual case.”
He said Heyman’s only intent was to ask a couple of questions.
“I’ve never had anyone get in trouble criminally for talking too loud,” he said. “We just don’t understand why he got arrested. It just seems way over the top.”
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