An Orlando police officer subdued a woman with pepper spray after she inexplicably started chasing WESH-TV reporter Greg Fox and slugged a camerman who worked for another station.
Fox and other news crews were on the scene covering the shooting of police officer Jason Hajek who was shot in the stomach by a suspect after a routine traffic stop early Tuesday morning. An arrest has been made in that case, and the suspect — who reportedly has a huge rap sheet — is being held without bail on attempted murder charges. The officer underwent surgery at a local Orlando hospital and is in the ICU but fortunately he is expected to recover.
On the video, Fox tries to avoid the irate woman by running away from her as she shouts “You want some news?!” You can hear bystanders in the background asking her “what are you doing?”
“Uh, yeah, I’d like news like me running away,” Fox quipped in response to woman pursuing him, who also slammed her hand into a police vehicle and apparently knocked over a camera. She then clocked a video journalist from another Orlando news outlet who appeared to be merely concerned about his equipment being damaged.
At that point, the officer deployed the pepper spray on the angry woman which stopped her in her tracks. For the time being, no one knows why she started randomly targeting the news crews. WESH reports that she was given a mental health evaluation after being taken into custody by police.
Doing TV live shots can sometimes be hazardous for the journalists involved. You may recall that back in April, a news crew of a Providence ABC affiliate was attacked by a woman whose son was allegedly involved in a kindergarten graduation shooting. The woman threw a rock at the videographer and unleashed her pit bulls on the reporter.