A man who confronted a news reporter while he was just trying to do his damn job was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals in Ohio on Thursday.
The man, who we
affectionately dubbed “Wallace” before he was identified as Benjamin Eugene Dagley, was arrested by members of the U.S. Marshal Service’s violent fugitive task force as he was leaving a shopping plaza in Dayton, Ohio. He faces two counts of simple assault, one count of disturbing the peace and one count of violating an emergency curfew, the Mississippi’s Gulfport Police Department said, according to the New York Times.
Wal—, I mean Dagley was caught in 4K parking his white pickup truck, hopping out and running towards NBC journalist Shaquille Brewster as the reporter was doing a live shot on the impact of Hurricane Ida in Mississippi on MSNBC.
Here’s what happened next, per the Times:
Mr. Dagley can be seen stepping out of his truck and running toward Mr. Brewster, who pauses and says, “I think we even have a random person going around.”
“You’re reporting this accurately, right?” Mr. Dagley says.
Mr. Brewster shifts so that the water is his backdrop and continues to speak to the camera. Mr. Dagley can be heard yelling in the background, though it is unclear what he is saying, and he is not visible in the shot.
A few seconds later, the scene appears to escalate.
“I’m going to toss it back to you,” Mr. Brewster tells Craig Melvin, an anchor for NBC. “We have a person who needs a little help right now.”
Mr. Dagley is seen moving toward Mr. Brewster as he screams in his face, “Report accurately!” and bumps into him before NBC cuts away. Mr. Melvin then tells viewers that the network will check in with Mr. Brewster later and that “there’s a lot of crazy out there.”
Later in the broadcast, Mr. Melvin said Mr. Brewster was OK.
And here’s video of the incident:
As we previously reported, no one knows what Dagley was doing in Mississippi as he was already on probation in Ohio. In 2017, Dagley pleaded guilty to vandalism, inducing panic and attempted assault after he was arrested for drilling holes in chemical tanks that could have led to an environmental disaster, according to WLBT. In addition to the charges related to Dagley’s white boy summer exploits in Mississippi, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio also may like a word as his probation officer requested an arrest warrant, accusing Dagley of violating his probation by traveling without permission, according to the Times.
Anyone who has seen those Tommy Lee Jones movies about the U.S. Marshals knows they are not to be trifled with, but it turns out the arrest was light work as they were able to gather this fool up since he was still driving the white truck with the Ohio tags.
“This violent fugitive was attempting to flee from his charges in Gulfport but the swift work of our task force members resulted in a timely arrest,” Pete Elliott, the U.S. marshal for the Northern District of Ohio, said in a statement, the Times notes.
Brewster, who was the consummate professional throughout the ordeal, said in an Instagram post that he was “overwhelmed by the love and support” after “the wildest moment I’ve had on air.”
“Our team joked about it afterwards, but it was without a doubt as scary for us as it was for you all watching,” he said, according to the Times. “While that one report was interrupted, we were right back up in the next hour and will continue reporting as we are here to do.”