Security guard for CNN's April Ryan reportedly facing charges over incident with reporter
The security guard of CNN political analyst April Ryan will apparently face criminal charges after he was captured on video appearing to violently remove a local news editor from an event where the outspoken pundit was a keynote speaker.
The alleged victim, Charlie Kratovil, editor of New Brunswick Today, tweeted an image of himself holding up court documents on Monday, noting that Ryan’s security guard, Joel Morris, will be arraigned on Sept. 12 in Superior Court on charges of harassment, assault and theft by unlawful taking.
A reporter also tweeted the document, but New Brunswick Municipal Court did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for confirmation. The court’s online archive was not updated with Monday’s documents at the time of this report.
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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The alleged incident occurred on Aug. 3, when Kratovil said he was covering a speech given by Ryan at the 4th annual New Jersey Parent Summit, which focuses on "educating, empowering and preparing parents for our future leaders.”
In emails obtained by Fox News, Kratovil had RSVP'd to the event and received confirmation.
Kratovil said during the event he was approached by a man who started to ask him questions. He said that he found out later that he was Ryan's security guard.
"During the intro, this man came up to me, mentioned my video camera & asked me 'Who are you with?'" Kratovil wrote on Twitter. "I gave him my card & explained that I followed the proper channels to cover the event. I asked if he had a card & he responded by saying he was 'with the speaker.'"
Kratovil alleged that Morris threatened to "take... down" the camera if he himself didn't and the public relations team began "pressuring" Kratovil to stop recording all while, ironically, U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr. was praising the American Urban Radio Networks reporter for her "Freedom of the Press" award she received.
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Morris appears to approach Ryan as she was speaking at the podium and whispered something to her. She nods and then pauses for almost 30 seconds until Morris grabs Kratovil's camera equipment and tripod and walks out of the ballroom.
“Don’t touch my camera, please. Put that down. Don’t you dare. Put that down, sir," Kratovil told the bodyguard as he followed him out of the room.
As Kratovil and Morris begin causing a scene, Ryan explains to the crowd, “When I speak, I don’t have news covering my speech." Kratovil said another journalist was recording her speech.
The two men then enter the lobby, where Kratovil is berated by Shennell McCloud, executive director of Project Ready, the group that hosted the event. McCloud accuses Kratovil of "interrupting" the event and demands his removal from the hotel.
Security camera footage from the hotel lobby appears to show Morris forcibly pushing Kratovil toward the exit.
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"Once I got the camera back, I was concerned for my physical safety and I asked for hotel security. I was hoping they would maintain order and maybe document the theft of my camera and any damage that may have occurred to it as a result," Kratovil told Fox News. "I was thinking, 'Wow, this guy is really crossing the line here.' At the same time, I was trying not to fall down face first while also trying to protect the camera, and yelling for bystanders to call the police as this was happening."
Kratovil expressed his solidarity with Ryan, an outspoken critic of President Trump and his treatment of the press, but told Fox News that "her reputation" now depends on addressing what had happened and is hoping for an apology.
"I think that the President deserves much criticism for his administration's lack of transparency, his own irresponsible rhetoric towards the media, and his childish attacks on individual reporters like Ms. Ryan," Kratovil said. "Her reputation now depends on finally addressing this situation head-on and proclaiming that what happened that night in New Brunswick cannot be tolerated."