CNN political analyst April Ryan, who has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump‘s repeated attacks on the press, is getting the side-eye after having her bodyguard violently eject a reporter covering an event she was speaking at earlier this month.
On Monday, New Jersey police charged Ryan’s guard with assault.
“This was more than just an assault on me,” New Brunswick Today reporter and editor Charlie Kratovil tweeted. “This was an assault on freedom of the press.”
Kratovil said the incident unfolded August 3 while he was covering the New Jersey Parent Summit at The Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick. Per the New York Post, he was invited to attend the event by a public relations firm, who asked him to cover it.
Kratovil said he was doing just that, filming other guests and speakers with no issue, when things suddenly went left.
Footage posted of the incident shows the moment Ryan takes the stage, to raucous applause. She starts speaking but then pauses when her security guard, 30-year-old Joel Morris, walks over and whispers something to her. Moments later, he approaches Kratovil and allegedly snatches his camera.
“Put that down,” the reporter is heard yelling off-screen. “Don’t you dare — put that down, sir! That’s my camera!”
Morris takes the camera out into the lobby, where Kratovil repeatedly orders him to give it back: “Give me my camera! Let go of my camera! Thank you.”
“I’m telling you right now, you’re not allowed back in the room,” Morris responds after handing over the recording device.
It’s unclear if filming was explicitly barred during the event.
Things only escalate from there, as April’s security and the reporter engage in a brief scuffle, during which Kratovil claims he was booted from the venue with his arms twisted behind his back.
“Get off me, asshole! Get off me motherf—-r,” he screams as Morris informs him that this is a private event. Despite being credentialed to attend, a woman is heard scolding Kratovil for daring to “interrupt” Ryan’s keynote address.
“I didn’t interrupt!” he shouts back. “I’m an invited guest.”
On Monday, the reporter took to Twitter to announce that police had found probable cause to charge Morris, 30, with several charges including assault, harassment and theft by taking.
“Joel Morris stole [my] camera, high-tailed it out of the room,” Kratovil recalled in a video posted online. “One thing led to another, I ended up being assaulted after retrieving the camera. But now Mr. Morris is going to have to show up on Sept. 12 … in Superior Court.”
The journalist added that it’s “a shame we even have to be at this point” and later blasted Ryan for her “deafening” silence on the matter.
“It’s been more than two weeks,” he added. “Anybody who’s a journalist should be condemning this.”
The CNN pundit and veteran White House reporter has remained mum, but that hasn’t stopped social media critics for nailing Ryan to the wall for what they describe as a blatant instance of the pot calling the kettle black.
“April Ryan – ‘I need a bodyguard because Trump has made journalists unsafe,’ ” writer Stephen Miller tweeted. “Also April Ryan – ‘I want you to exit him off his feet and use his head to open the fucking door.’ “
“@AprilDRyan you are looking like quite the hypocrite right now. What do you have to say for yourself?” another chimed in.
Watch more in the video below.
A surveillance video captured another angle.