Posted on February 21, 2011

FOX 40 News Journalists John Lobertini, Rebecca Little, Attacked by Angry Mourners

Michael Sheridan, Daily News (New York), February 21, 2011

An angry mob attacked a reporter and a photojournalist Sunday, but it wasn’t in the Middle East, it was in California.

The journalists were hit and pushed by family and friends of a young man who had been gunned down the night before outside an International House of Pancakes restaurant in Sacramento.

FOX 40 News reporter John Lobertini and his cameraperson, Rebecca Little, were assaulted after approaching a group of people standing near a memorial for 27-year-old Chester Jackson set up on the sidewalk outside the restaurant.


Several local news outlets were present at the time and captured the incident on video from different points of view.

In the footage, Lobertini can be seen approaching a handful of people standing by the memorial as Little recorded the encounter. A woman in glasses and a hoodie quickly begins yelling at the journalists, the video shows, as another in a white cap calmly asks the reporters to “just back off.”

Within moments, however, several people approach from further down the sidewalk. A man in a purple t-shirt shoves Little’s camera away; then a woman in a white button-down sweater is seen in the video screaming at the photojournalist. Little is forced backwards as the woman stomps towards her.

Three other women hold the lady in the white sweater back, but another runs in from further up the sidewalk, grabs Little’s hair, and throws her to the ground in video captured by ABC 10 News. Lobertini attempts to help his coworker, but appears to get punched by the man in the purple shirt.

The woman in the white sweater then appears in the video to kick Little as she lay in the tall grass between the sidewalk and the street.


Lobertini was then pushed away as the anger of the crowd seemed to boil over. The group pushed and shoved the reporter while screaming at him.


Other reporters at the time were also threatened, including a photographer for the Sacramento Bee newspaper, according to News 10.


Authorities are looking at the video to determine if any charges need to be filed. No arrests have been made.