When a television journalist tried to fight public corruption in Alabama, things got far more physical than he expected.
Dothan City Commissioner Amos Newsome was arrested and charged Tuesday with third-degree assault after he deliberately struck southern Alabama WTVY television news reporter Ken Curtis twice in the face caught on the video seen below.
Newsome – who is 82 years young – was released from jail on Tuesday evening on a signature bond, according to local new site dothaneagle.com.
In a brief video clip of the incident, which was recorded by another journalist, Curtis is seen persistently asking Newsome if he will resign in light of the voter fraud allegations linked to the politician’s 2013 election.
“Would you be willing to resign if it would mean a better deal,” Curtis asked Amos as the local official was leaving the Dothan, Ala., City Commission meeting.
Newsome can be heard as he begins to answer the question, but does not finish his sentence and decides to lunge for Curtis instead.
“Let me tell you something… Get!” Newsome says, before clawing his fingers onto Curtis’ face.
Spencer Bienvenu, Vice President and General Manager of WTVY said in a statement on Tuesday that the station was “horrified” with Commissioner’s Amos’ behavior, saying:
“WTVY is extremely disappointed and horrified by the actions of Dothan City Commissioner Amos Newsome for his unwarranted physical attack on one of our employees.
We understand that holding political office can be stressful, but that never warrants unwanted physical contact, let alone an open, public assault.”
“Our employee was attacked in the course of doing their job, which they are entitled to do without the fear of physical violence. Freedom of the press is a guaranteed right, one that should allow us to do our jobs in a safe, non-threatening environment.”
The station also said they’ll be seeking legal representation for the damages caused by Commissioner Newsome’s agression.
“WTVY intends to press charges against Commissioner Newsome, to ensure that no one else will be attacked in the course of doing their job. We’re grateful for the relationship that we continue to have with the Dothan City Commission and our elected officials,” the statement said.
Newsome’s current term expires in October of 2017.
If the Alabama Commissioner doesn’t stop attacking the messengers asking about his public activities, finishing the term will be a lesser concern than spending time in jail.