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Arrest warrant issued for man who attacked NBC reporter during Hurricane Ida coverage 

Mississippi police have issued an arrest warrant for an Ohio man who attacked NBC’s Shaquille Brewster on live television during coverage of Hurricane Ida.

The arrest warrant issued on Tuesday charges Benjamin Eugene Dagley, from Wooster, Ohio, with two counts of disturbing the peace and one count of violating the emergency curfew. The Gulfport Police Department has also said that Dagley may have violated his probation in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, by travelling to the area without authorization.

Dagley had not been arrested by late Tuesday with police believing that he has left the Mississippi Gulf Coast and is travelling in a white 2016 F150 with an Ohio license plate number PJR1745. Police have asked anyone with knowledge of his location to contact their local law enforcement agency and thanked those members of the “public for coming forward and helping identify Dagley”.

Dagley is alleged to have assaulted Brewster during a live broadcast, with footage having been viewed more than a million times on Twitter as of Tuesday afternoon. “The rain has stopped. The wind is still going.” Brewster said as Dagley pulled over in his pickup truck and started to run toward the reporter.

Dagley then shouts something about “accuracy” and manages to get in the reporter’s face just before the shot cuts back to MSNBC host Craig Melvin who appeared concerned by the interruption, telling viewers “We’re going to check in with Shaq Brewster just to make sure all is well. There is a lot of crazy out there. There is a lot of crazy!”

MSNBC President Rashida Jones praised Brewster’s handling of the situation, “Like the consummate professional, he did not let someone intimidate him from doing his job. We’re glad he and the team are safe, and we couldn’t be prouder and more supportive of their work.”

This isn’t Dagley’s first run in with the police. Court records show that he previously pleaded guilty to vandalism, inducing panic and attempted assault, stemming from an attempted commercial break in back in 2017. He was sentenced to five years’ probation and 30 days imprisonment as well as receiving a $5,000 fine and $10,000 restitution to the business. 

ARTICLE: NATHAN REID

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS

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