Alabama reporter planning to sue city official who struck him during interview
Reporter Ken Curtis and his employers at WTVY-TV in Dothan, Alabama will pursue third-degree assault charges against a local official for striking him during an interview, the Dothan Eagle reported.
“We understand that holding political office can be stressful, but that never warrants unwanted physical contact, let alone an open, public assault,” general manager Spencer Bienvenu said in a statement concerning the encounter between Curtis and City Commissioner Amos Newsome. “Our employee was attacked in the course of doing their job, which they are entitled to do without the fear of physical violence.”
Footage posted online by the station shows Curtis approaching Newsome outside the Dothan Civic Center on Tuesday and asking him whether he planned to leave the commission in the aftermath of his re-election in 2013.
WTVY reported that, while Newsome retained his seat by winning 119 of 124 absentee votes, his girlfriend Olivia Reynolds and one other person were convicted of felony voter fraud connected to those ballots. Another person has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor voter fraud, and a fourth person faces three counts of absentee ballot fraud.
Curtis can be seen following Newsome and asking whether he plans to resign, before Newsome stops, turns around and holds a hand toward the reporter. Newsome then says, “Git” before grabbing at his face. The Eagle reported that Curtis was bleeding from his right cheek and “appeared to have an abrasion between his eyes.”
Watch the encounter, as posted by WTVY, below.