CNN personality April Ryan’s bodyguard has been charged with assault for forcibly removing a journalist from an event where Ryan was speaking.
Joel Morris was charged with assault after video footage was released showing him forcibly removing a camera from a journalist named Charlie Kratovil. He later grabbed Kratovil while the journalist cried for someone to call the police.
The security footage can be viewed in the tweet below.
Here is the surveillance video from the hotel, provided to me by Charlie. It shows @AprilDRyan's bodyguard trying to snatch his camera and assaulting the local reporter. The video ends with the bodyguard dragging him out of the building. pic.twitter.com/rnAM0iVNEc
— Marcus J. DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) August 14, 2019
Kratovil is the editor of New Brunswick Today and claims he was invited to the event. The event was held at the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Kratovil claims to have spent three hours at the event without any incidents. He asked where to set up his camera, followed instructions, and recorded the other speakers before Ryan. In one tweet, Kratovil acknowledged that he had thanked Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) for his support of impeaching the president.
As Ryan was being praised for receiving the “Freedom of the Press” award, public relations people gathered around Kratovil pressuring him to stop recording. When Kratovil refused to do so, Morris took Kratovil’s camera and removed it from the room. Kratovil followed Morris saying, “Don’t touch my camera, please. Put that down. Don’t you dare. Put that down, sir.”
Although Ryan had just received an award for upholding a free press, as Kratovil’s camera was being taken she allegedly explained to the audience that she doesn’t allow other media to cover her speeches. However, Kratovil claims there was another video camera and news reporter in the room.
In the lobby of the hotel, Kratovil claims that Morris assaulted him without provocation and continued this assault outside of the building. Court officials in New Jersey have now issued a summons to Morris.
— Paul Farhi (@farhip) August 19, 2019
Ryan has yet to comment on the fiasco that occurred while she spoke.