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A Man Who Accosted A TV Reporter Covering Hurricane Ida Faces Assault Charges

Police thanked members of the public for helping to identify Benjamin Eugene Dagley as the man seen accosting an NBC reporter during a live broadcast. Dagley now faces several criminal charges.
Gulfport Police Department
Police thanked members of the public for helping to identify Benjamin Eugene Dagley as the man seen accosting an NBC reporter during a live broadcast. Dagley now faces several criminal charges.

A man who disrupted NBC News correspondent Shaquille Brewster's live report on Hurricane Ida is now facing an arrest warrant on criminal charges.

Members of the public helped identify Benjamin Eugene Dagley of Wooster, Ohio, according to police in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Dagley is charged with four criminal counts, including two counts of simple assault, one of disturbing the peace and another of violating an emergency curfew, according to the Gulfport Police Department.

The incident between Dagley and Brewster took place on Monday as the reporter was delivering an update on conditions along the coast in Gulfport. Brewster was speaking to anchor Craig Melvin when a white Ford pickup truck could be seen abruptly pulling off the road to park in the background.

A man who has since been identified as Dagley then ran at Brewster, who pivoted to a different vantage point as he sought to minimize the interruption and continue his report. The man repeatedly yelled at Brewster and his TV crew — seemingly concerned about accuracy in the media — before Brewster's segment with Melvin was cut short.

"This is beyond unacceptable and disgusting," Melvin said via Twitter, adding that Brewster was simply doing his job.

Brewster said he and his colleagues emerged unscathed: "Appreciate the concern guys. The team and I are all good!"

Gulfport police are asking for the public's help in locating Dagley, saying he has seemingly left the Mississippi coast.

In addition to criminal charges in Mississippi, Dagley may also face a probation violation, as he is currently on probation in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, the agency said.


This story originally appeared on the Morning Edition live blog.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

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