As a photojournalist I put my self into situations where I may get hurt. That comes with the job.
From flying in stunt planes to hanging off the back of a car to get the low angle tire through themud puddle shots...not to mention those side of the interstate Live Shots or that sliding on the ice stuff I pulled off a few weeks ago.
But the silliness that ensued today beats just about all I've ever seen...and I got an up close look....you be the judge....
We were there to check out the condition of the horses on this man's land. We had received tips about the horses not being fed regularly and living in bad conditions so we went out there Wednesday with a local elected official and a representative from the U.S. Equine Rescue league.
The Equine expert has been trying to get local law enforcment officials to charge the man who owns the horses with neglect so the Equine League can seize the horses. But according to the Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney the horses have water and shelter and every time they've checked there's been food there too.
That's all well and good except for all the good people of the area who feel sorry for the horses and feed and water them....and other neighbor's say this man shows up everytime he gets wind of an impending investigatory look.
There are some water barrels on the property and who am I to say the man doesn't feed his animals. That's why we were there, early in our investigative process, to see if local authorities had taken a close enough look, to keep the officials in check.
So today we went back out there to see if the horses had water or food today. The horses had been given water.(we think the local elected offical and the equine rescue lady gave them the water)...but there was no ssign of any food.
A few minutes into gathering some Day 2 video the man shows up....he has the bucket and the stick. He had been tipped off by a neighbor that we were there.
I knew when he jumped out of the car I may be in trouble....all I could think is...."Uh, Oh...this is gonna hurt."
He swung a few times hitting me on the lower right leg calf muscle and then on my camera lens as he swung the stick higher.
He left this mark on my leg...It's a nice bruise...but otherwise I'm fine.
He was charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Damage to Property. He was arrested and given a $5,000 bond.
UPDATE - More Use of the Video -
Fox News ran it all day -
Break.com is using it - with lots of views I might add -
Hillbilly Attacks News Cameraman With A Stick - Watch more Funny Videos
And here's a LONGER YOUTUBE version that has about a 2 minute section in the middle before he comes over to the van....you can hear him yelling the wwhole time.
And many stations around the nation are picking up the story.