FOX Reporter John Mattes Is Attacked With Cameras Rolling

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," September 6, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight, as the kidnapping and subsequent release of two FOX News journalists in Gaza prove, covering the news can be a very dangerous business.

In San Diego, FOX 6 reporter John Mattes was attacked while investigating a family who allegedly were running a real estate scheme, a guy named Sam Suleiman, injured John after his wife verbally laced him.


ROSA SULEIMAN, THREATENED REPORTER: You didn't have enough with what you air? Stop the (expletive deleted) camera (expletive deleted) right now. Oh, yes, I will. Why are you doing this? You didn't have enough with what you air?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not appropriate.

R. SULEIMAN: Why are you doing this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's not appropriate.

R. SULEIMAN: I don't give a (bleep.) Stop your behavior. Do you like iguana or encinata? Which one do you like better, huh? I'm going to put you on the other side of the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Ma'am, that is really pathetic.

R. SULEIMAN: I don't care. Stop this. Stop this right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Have a nice day.

R. SULEIMAN: You don't know. (expletive deleted) you. Have a nice day, my (expletive deleted).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, bye bye.

R. SULEIMAN: Son of a (expletive deleted). Stop it. I'll break the (expletive deleted) camera.

O'REILLY: And joining us now from San Diego is John Mattes.

First of all, how are you doing, John? Are you OK?


O'REILLY: What have you got? What kind of internal injuries? I mean, we can see what's on your face.

MATTES: A lot of ribs. My face has been obviously dug up a great deal and just beat up.

O'REILLY: OK. You'll be OK. A couple of cracked ribs.

MATTES: Yes, I'm going to make it.

O'REILLY: All right. Now these people are going to be prosecuted, obviously. And they'll go to jail. What were they doing? What were you investigating?

MATTES: Well, for the last three months, we've been investigating a massive real estate scheme, where people were buying homes under fictitious names and renting them out and running them into the ground.

Basically, so -- according to our information, Mr. Suleiman was taking fictitious names or people unbeknownst to them, their identity, buying homes, illegally and then taking all of the money out of those homes, leaving the people who didn't know that they had owned these homes, totally in debt.

O'REILLY: I don't really understand. I mean, anybody can buy a home. Why did they have to use an illegal name to buy a home?

MATTES: If you don't want to pay the mortgage and you want to run it into the ground at the same time you're taking the rent out, you've made a lot of money without any overhead.

O'REILLY: OK. But -- so they were trying to defraud the bank or were they buying these from someplace else?

MATTES: They were defrauding -- they were allegedly defrauding banks and mortgage companies with false income statements with fictitious names. And they're buying homes with fictitious names and renting those.

O'REILLY: I got it. All right. So they were presenting themselves with someone else with asset they didn't have, taking the property, renting the property out, not doing anything for it. And it was an alleged scheme. OK, it's all lead to...

MATTES: Exactly.

O'REILLY: All right. So you're investigating this. And you wind up interviewing somebody on the periphery of the story and this woman comes out it. And we saw what she to do? Now have you talked to this woman before?

O'REILLY: We had interviewed so two months ago., as one of the co-conspirators in this case. And we attacked to her about her involvement and of course, she denied at all. We hadn't talk to her subsequently -- and yesterday, we were interviewing witnesses, all of whom had been involved with these people, all of whom had been threatened by these people.

So the story we were doing was about threats and intimidation for that this couple was visiting upon people in San Diego.

O'REILLY: Are these American citizens?

MATTES: I do not know.

O'REILLY: That'd be interesting to find out. We just had a -- you know, little conversation about demogoguing. -- We'll find that out, whether they're American citizens.

All right, so then the guy comes after the wife comes. She comes out and we he beat you up.

And then police obviously have arrested them. They guy's going to be charged with a battery, a serious injury. That's a felony. And the woman has four charges pending tomorrow.

What are you thinking right now? What's going through your mind?

MATTES: Well, I'm angry. I'm angry they're on the street. I'm angry that months have gone by with them threatening people.

Every person we've interviewed about this series of stories has felt threatened. We interviewed an architect yesterday morning, who said they had threatened to break his legs and rape his wife.

O'REILLY: They're in jail now.

MATTES: So -- no, they're not.

O'REILLY: No, they're out?

MATTES: They've been bailed out. They're out as we speak on the streets of San Diego.

O'REILLY: Well, they got to appear tomorrow. Hope they don't skip. And we'll find out whether they're illegal or not. And we appreciate you coming on, John. We're sorry you had to go through this.

MATTES: Thank you, sir.

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