The man who angrily confronted a news crew reporting on Hurricane Ida is now a wanted man.
Identified as Benjamin Eugene Dagley, from Wooster, Ohio, an arrest warrant was issued after he was seen in a live camera shot from Gulfport, Miss., challenging NBC News’ Shaquille Brewster and his film crew.
In the footage, Dagley is seen parking his white pickup truck in the background, getting out, and running toward Brewster as he was giving a live report. Dagley can be heard yelling about something as Brewster repositions to get the man out of his shot.
The reporter soldiers on with his live report, but is clearly distracted.
“Craig, I’m going to toss it back to you because we have a person who needs a little help right now,” Brewster said at one point, as the yelling off camera got louder.
Dagley suddenly appears onscreen, getting right up in Brewster’s face. He appeared to be screaming “report accurately.”
Things got very hairy for NBC News reporter Shaquille Brewster during a live Hurricane Ida report from Gulfport, MS.
Some guy jumps out of a pickup truck and angrily confronts Brewster’s crew, prompting a shaken Craig Melvin to express extreme concern for his colleague. pic.twitter.com/v1tYnUsqTj
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 30, 2021
The shot returns to the MSNBC studio, with troubled host Craig Melvin saying, “Hey, hey, hey, hey. We’re going to check back in with Shaq Brewster just to make sure all is well. There’s a lot of crazy out there. A lot of crazy.”
Brewster tweeted shortly after the incident: “Appreciate the concern guys. The team and I are all good!”
Dagley will be reportedly charged with two counts of simple assault, one count of disturbing the peace, and one count of violating an emergency curfew, the Gulfport Police Dept. said in a statement.
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
NBC News cited court documents to report that Dagley, 54, had pleaded guilty to vandalism, inducing panic, and attempted assault, stemming from a 2017 commercial break-in, and was sentenced to five years probation and 30 days in jail, along with a $5,000 fine and $10,000 restitution to the company he once owned.
It’s not clear if he was in violation of his probation, which included restrictions on travel, as was reported online by WOIO’s Chris Frye:
Benjamin Eugene Dagley is a resident of Wooster, Ohio, about an hour south of Cleveland. Dagley is on probation for a previous charge in Cuyahoga County, and one of the conditions his probation included travel restrictions, according to police. @cleveland19news #BreakingNews https://t.co/TALqKBABVK
— Chris Frye (@cfryenewsguy) August 31, 2021
The footage took off across the web and Brewster responded to all the attention the following day on Instagram.
“Overwhelmed by the love and support today after what was definitely the wildest moment I’ve had on air,” he wrote. “Our team joked about it afterwards, but it was without a doubt as scary for us as it was for you all watching. While that one report was interrupted, we were right back up in the next hour and will continue reporting as we are here to do.”
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