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Illinois Man Charged With Battery After Grabbing Reporter Live On Air

by : Lucy Connolly on : 26 May 2020 19:02
Illinois Man Charged With Battery After Grabbing Reporter Live On AirIllinois Man Charged With Battery After Grabbing Reporter Live On AirWGN-TV/Shorewood Police Department

A man has been arrested after grabbing a TV reporter during a live broadcast and shouting out a ‘profane and disturbing statement’, police have said.

WGN-TV reporter Gaynor Hall was giving a weather report in Shorewood, Illinois, on Saturday night, May 23, when the man ran up to her and forcibly grabbed her around the shoulders.

It was at this point he looked towards the camera and yelled, ‘f*ck her right in the p*ssy’ – a phrase that has long been used to harass female reporters – before running away.

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You can watch the horrifying scene unfold below:

Hall later posted about the incident on social media, sharing a screenshot of his face from the report before addressing the ‘young man who jumped in [her] liveshot tonight’.

‘It was not funny,’ she wrote. ‘You violated my personal space. You grabbed me. You scared me. Was it worth it?’ She later updated her post to thank her followers for their ‘kind words and support’, adding: ‘I am OK and I appreciate you more than you know.’

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The reporter also confirmed the culprit had been identified and arrested for his actions, with the Shorewood Police Department confirming they had arrested a 20-year-old man named Eric Farina on Sunday, May 24, in connection with the incident.

woman grabbed live on airwoman grabbed live on airWGN-TV

‘Farina grabbed the reporter around her shoulders and uttered a profane and disturbing statement,’ police said in a statement, as per the New York Post.

The statement said Farina made a ‘full confession’ and he was subsequently charged with battery and disorderly conduct, WGN-TV reported. The 20-year-old was later released on a $2,500 recognisance bond.

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Prior to his arrest, Hall’s colleague Jackie Bange also posted on social media, asking anyone if they were able to identify the ‘absolute idiot’.

She asked her followers:

To the good people of Shorewood: do you recognize this guy?? He just assaulted our reporter during her 10pm live shot. He’s an absolute idiot and should be charged with assault!

To the good people of Shorewood: do you recognize this guy?? He just assaulted our reporter during her 10pm live shot. He’s an absolute idiot and should be charged with assault!

Posted by Jackie Bange WGN on Saturday, May 23, 2020

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‘F*ck her right in the p*ssy’ has unfortunately become a commonplace phrase to hear during live news broadcasts, particularly when female anchors are speaking.

What started out as a ‘prank’ – filmmaker John Cain orchestrated a viral hoax campaign using the phrase in 2014, which went viral and gained millions of views in a short space of time – has since turned into a worrying phenomenon that has led to journalists feeling threatened while doing their jobs.

man arrested for grabbing reporterman arrested for grabbing reporterShorewood Police Department

While some might find it amusing to interrupt news broadcasts with such an obscene and distressing phrase, doing so has consistently made female reporters like Hall feel scared and uncomfortable in their place of work. And it isn’t acceptable.

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Thankfully the man responsible in this case has been held accountable for his actions.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.

Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, assault, battery, Crime, harassment, illinois, prank, Reporter, sexual harassment, Shorewood

Credits

WGN-TV and 2 others
  1. WGN-TV

    Minooka man charged with grabbing WGN reporter, yelling obscenities

  2. Gaynor Hall/Facebook

    GaynorHallWGN

  3. New York Post

    Illinois man charged for grabbing reporter on live TV, shouting ‘F–k her’