Published On: Mar 15 2012 05:26:49 PM EDTUpdated On: Mar 16 2012 11:33:36 PM EDT
This is a Sun Recycling plant in Pompano Beach where news photographer Mario Alonso and I set up to shoot some video Tuesday. We were basically shooting from across the publicly owned street.
As we shoot, the plant foreman approaches. I'm thinking, "Maybe we'll get an interview."
The first thing he said was we weren't allowed to "take pictures" of the plant. I asked him why, he said, "Because I said so." I thought this was funny.
Suddenly the foreman went for the camera, which was on Mario's shoulder. It was so sudden you can see I'm still smiling.
After grabbing the camera, the guy pushes it until it's pointing nearly in the opposite direction. Mario is completely vulnerable at this moment and the camera itself, which is ridiculously expensive, is also in jeopardy.
In defense of man and property, I push him back. As you can see his hand is still on the camera.
He's realizing at about this moment that his attack on the camera is being thwarted.
I just wanted to stop his attack, but as I'm backing off, he goes after me, starting with grabbing the microphone.
I'm thinking, he's short, but he's pretty strong ... and it looks like we're going to go at it. Space is my friend with this little bull.
I'm backing away from the guy. Notice the front end loader in the background. It's coming to run interference for the boss.
Suddenly he bends down to pick something up.
Not only does he have the stick mic -- it looks like he has plans for it.
... with the Local 10 microphone.
I demand the microphone back. "You assaulted me, I have witnesses," he said. "You assaulted the cameraman, I have it on video," I told him.
He said he was calling 911, which was good because I wanted the microphone back.
He shares his story with the boys.
BSO Deputy Pedro Cordero arrives. He seemed surprised at only one aspect of the story: "He took the microphone?"
The guy is telling him that he simply put his hand up to block the camera.
You want my ID? Who's under investigation here?
My hunch is that right here he's sensing that the deputy might not be enamored with his story. If he was, he was right. Dep. Cordero walked back over and watched the video tape. Then he asked me if I wanted to press charges and put the guy in jail on a battery charge.
The foreman offers an apology ... after he hears from the good deputy that I didn't press charges against him. I accepted.