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Cops Arrest Guy Who Allegedly Accosted Reporter During Hurricane

Benjamin Dagley may have violated Ohio probation
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2021 7:53 PM CDT
Updated Sep 3, 2021 2:02 AM CDT

(Newser) Update: The guy suspected of accosting an MSNBC journalist while he reported on Hurricane Ida has been arrested. Police located the truck belonging to Benjamin Dagley in a Dayton, Ohio, parking lot Thursday morning, and the 54-year-old was arrested as he exited a nearby store, CBS News reports. "This violent fugitive was attempting to flee from his charges in Gulfport but the swift work of our task force members resulted in a timely arrest," a US marshal says, per NBC News. It's not clear why Dagley, who lives in Ohio, was in Mississippi, where he will face charges. Our original story from Tuesday follows:

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The man who accosted Shaquille Brewster while the MNSBC journalist was reporting on Hurricane Ida was a long way from home, and he could now be in a lot of trouble, police say. The Gulfport, Mississippi police department says the man has been identified as Ohio resident Benjamin Eugene Dagley and a warrant has been issued for his arrest, the Hill reports. Dagley faces two counts of simple assault, one count of disturbance of the peace, and one count of violation of emergency curfew.

In a tweet, police shared photos of Dagley and his white 2016 Ford F150 and thanked the public for helping to identify him. Police say they contacted Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Adult Probation Department over a possible probation violation, Deadline reports. Dagley's criminal history includes a 2019 arrest for drilling holes in tanks of dangerous chemicals at a Cleveland business he used to own, per the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

After the Monday incident, in which Dagley was seen pulling up in his truck, running up to Brewster, and lunging at him after shouting about "reporting accurately," Brewster was praised by MSNBC president Rashida Jones as an "exceptional journalist" who "did not let someone intimidate him from doing his job." Police say Dagley is believed to have now left the Gulf Coast. It's not clear why he was almost 1,000 miles from Ohio and traveling during a major hurricane, NBC notes. (Read more cable news stories.)

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