By: Alyssa Wilson
An arrest warrant has been issued for the man caught on camera confronting NBC correspondent Shaquille Brewster.
Brewster was live on television reporting on Hurricane Ida when a man, identified as Benjamin Eugene Dagley of Ohio, pulled his car over and approached him. The Gulfport Police Department released information on him as they continue to search for his location.
We would like to thank the public for coming forward and helping identify Dagley. pic.twitter.com/SFPJAekshn
— Gulfport Police Dept (@GulfportPolice) August 31, 2021
According to the department, around 12:38 pm on August 20, officers responded to a complaint that Brewster was assaulted. Arrest warrants were issued for Dagley, charging him with two counts of Simple Assault, one count of Disturbance of Peace, and one count of Violation of Emergency Curfew.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 31, 2021
The incident is believed to be a violation of Dagley’s probation, which he is serving for a previous charge in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. According to NBC News, the 54-year-old pleaded guilty to vandalism, including panic and attempted assault, in 2017. He was sentenced to pay fines, spend 30 days in jail and five years of probation. One of the conditions of the probation included restrictions on his travel.
Dagley is no longer in Mississippi and is believed to be traveling in a white 2016 Ford F150 with the Ohio License Plate: PJR1745. Gulfport police are accepting information on his whereabouts.
The National Association of Black Journalists released a statement on the issue, saying, “Journalists must be protected from this type of harassment while on the job. We encourage local officials to look into the matter. We’re here for you Shaq- glad you’re safe.”
#NABJ is disturbed by the treatment of our very own @shaqbrewster in this video. Journalists must be protected from this type of harassment while on the job. We encourage local officials to look into the matter. We’re here for you Shaq-glad you’re safe. Reach out if we can assist https://t.co/BUCwVsJLMx
— #NABJ Headquarters (@NABJ) August 30, 2021
MSNBC President Rashida Jones later responded to the incident in defense of Brewster. “Shaq Brewster is an exceptional journalist,” she said. “Like the consummate professional, he did not let someone intimidate him from doing his job. We’re glad he and the team are safe, and we couldn’t be more proud and supportive of their work.”
Brewster publicly spoke out, thanking people for their concern and letting them know he and his team were unharmed.
Appreciate the concern guys. The team and I are all good!
— Shaquille Brewster (@shaqbrewster) August 30, 2021
If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.