A Virginia man was arrested, charged with harassing a veteran Charlotte, N.C., TV reporter during a confrontation in Charleston, S.C., the Charlotte Observer reports.
Brian Eybers, 21, is being held in the Charleston County Detention Center and is due in court Friday on charges of disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia in the form of a glass pipe like that used to smoke crack, according to police.
According to the report, WBTV reporter Steve Crump was in Charleston on Oct. 8 to cover Hurricane Matthew. Just as he had completed an interview and was going back to the news van, a man on the street, identified as Eybers, began making a video of him with an iPad.
“He was doing commentary of the neighborhood,” Crump told the Charlotte Observer on Tuesday. “Then he starts off saying, ‘There’s a black guy walking around here; no, he’s a slave; no, he’s [the n-word].’”
Crump said he approached Eybers, demanding to know what the young man had just said. In the video, Crump can be seen asking if Eybers had called him the n-word, to which the 21-year-old replied, "Yes, I believe I did."
“I went from zero to 60 like that,” Crump said.
“Steve isn’t going to let something like that lie,” Dennis Milligan, WBTV’s news director, added.
In the video, Eybers is heard going on to talk about the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and saying that God gave him the right to call Crump the racial slur.
When Crump asked him about the Ninth and the 14th amendments, Eybers just chuckled and said, "You're a [f—king] idiot. So you really are a [n—ger], then."
After engaging with Eybers a little more, Crump decided to leave. However, Eybers stood in front of the news van, preventing their departure, prompting Crump to call the police.
According to the Observer, Eybers has a home address in Arlington, Va., and it was not clear what he was doing in Charleston.
The Observer notes that John Tecklenburg, the mayor of Charleston, contacted Crump after the incident and apologized on behalf of the city.
Crump, who has covered the Ku Klux Klan throughout his career, interviewing many of its leaders, with and without their hoods, said, "None of them have ever called me the n-word."
“We may not see eye-to-eye on racial issues, but not a single Klansman I’ve interviewed in 35 years of doing this stuff has stooped to this level of vulgarity,” he added.
Read more at the Charlotte Observer.