An angry mob attacked a reporter and a photojournalist Sunday, but it wasn’t in the Middle East, it was in sunny California!
The journalists were hit and pushed by family and friends of a young man who had been gunned down the night before outside of an International House of Pancakes restaurant in Sacramento.
FOX 40 News reporter John Lobertini and his cameraperson, Rebecca Little, were assaulted after approaching a group of people standing near a memorial for 27-year-old Chester Jackson set up on the sidewalk outside the restaurant.
“This is one of the hazards of the business, but I’ve gotta tell you we didn’t expect what we encountered here,” Lobertini said during his broadcast after the attack.
In the violent footage (which you can view below), Lobertini can be seen approaching a handful of people standing by the memorial as Little recorded the encounter.
A woman in glasses and a hoodie quickly begins yelling at the journalists, the video shows, as another in a white cap calmly asks the reporters to “just back off.”
Within moments, however, several people approach from further down the sidewalk.
A man in a purple t-shirt shoves Little’s camera away; then a woman in a white button-down sweater is seen in the video screaming at the photojournalist. Little is forced backwards as the woman stomps towards her.
Three other women hold the lady in the white sweater back, but another runs in from further up the sidewalk, grabs Little’s hair, and throws her to the ground in video captured by ABC 10 News. Lobertini attempts to help his coworker, but appears to get punched by the man in the purple shirt.
The assailants in the video were Black and the news crew were White. I’m just counting the minutes before the media turns this into a racial story.
Several local news outlets were present at the time and captured the incident on video from different points of view.
Watch video the disturbing raw footage of the altercation below [Note: STRONG LANGUAGE & VIOLENCE]:
The woman in the white sweater then appears in the video to kick Little as she lay in the tall grass between the sidewalk and the street.
“When I fell on the ground I was protecting myself, and then she kicked me and I was still kinda paralyzed, and I hear my reporter John say, ‘get up, get up,'” the camerawoman told Fox 40.
Lobertini was then pushed away as the anger of the crowd seemed to boil over. The group pushed and shoved the reporter while screaming at him.
“It was a situation where I was trying to fight off 6 or 7 or 8 people, I can’t even count them,” he said.
Other reporters at the time were also threatened, including a photographer for the Sacramento Bee newspaper, according to News 10.
A person who was at the incident, but did not participate in the violence, told the local news station that it was an emotional day and people were mourning the loss of a loved one.
“A lot of people, they’re not in the right state of mind when going through something like this,” Meghan Saffold said. “So you know, all I say is, when someone asks you something, that you should respect it and respect their wishes.”
Authorities are looking at the video to determine if any charges need to be filed. No arrests have been made.
Meanwhile, police are also trying to determine who shot Jackson, according to CBS 13 in Sacramento. Two suspects are being sought in the slaying.