Violence, Fire And Robbery as Crooks Attack Reporters

Casey Harper and Connor Wolf, Daily Caller, April 28, 2015

On April 27, Daily Caller News Foundation reporters Connor D. Wolf and Casey Harper went to Baltimore with The TheDC’s Grae Stafford to find the truth behind the Freddie Gray protests. What we found instead were violent thugs willing to go after anyone–even us.

While we interviewed looters, gang-bangers and activists, criminals violently set upon us. Here is the story of that chaotic night, and the events that led us to that frantic melee.

Wolf:

I was interviewing a group of rioters who were busy stealing an ATM machine at the intersection of North Fulton Avenue and West North Avenue. They initially agreed to speak with me, if I wouldn’t take any more pictures.

{snip}

But some other folks had a different idea, and while I was scribbling frantic notes, I was sucker-punched in the face. {snip}

My nose was broken, and I was bleeding uncontrollably as the crowd surrounded me. Disorientated, I tried to get away, but it wasn’t until I was able to push through the crowd that my crew of fellow reporters saw me and realized I needed help.

Connor Wolf

Connor Wolf

Grae Stafford, our crew leader and TheDC’s photographer, grabbed me when he saw what happened and led me across a street covered in fires, debris, crowds of looters and the twisted metal hulks of burnt-out cars. Harper, my fellow DCNF reporter, and Trey Yingst, a reporter from News 2 Share, were on hand to help.

As Harper used his phone to shine a light on my injuries, a young girl apologized: She and her crew were there only for the ATM–which they tore apart, but couldn’t get a dollar out of–and what they could find from shattered storefronts. But as she approached, violent thugs followed, including the crook who had broken my nose.

They seized Casey’s phone, loudly demanded our cameras and gear. We were being robbed, and the crowd around us was growing and becoming more violent.

Harper

I crouched and shined my iPhone’s flashlight onto Wolf’s bloody face as Stafford prepared bandages. Suddenly, a criminal snatched the phone from my hand. My heart sank as I turned to see him disappearing into a crowd of a dozen masked, frenzied teenage rioters, who were shouting as they closed in on us.

“Come on, man!” I pleaded with my assailant. I noticed a white man about five yards away, menacingly pounding a hammer in the palm of his hand. He looked high on something violent. A young girl next to me called to him to give it back, when my robber stopped, turned, and started to move toward me again, telling me I had to delete all of my pictures, videos and notes–evidence of the violence he and his friends were visiting on their own neighbors. When he veered off again, seeming unsure of what to do, I turned back to check on Wolf.

Then I was hit: One of the thugs clubbed me across the right side of the head with a full bottle of liquor, fracturing my cheekbone and giving me a concussion. I fell to the ground, stunned and blacking out as my attackers pounced on me. A girl screamed.

Stafford moved quickly, pushing through the mob, grabbing my sleeve. “Get up!” he barked.

I stumbled to my knees, and he pulled me ahead, guiding me as I staggered through the riot.

Casey Harper

Casey Harper

{snip}

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