Last week, Red State‘s Bonchie wrote about a disturbing incident from August 3rd involving New Brunswick Today journalist Charlie Kratovil, CNN political contributor April Ryan, and Ryan’s bodyguard Joel Morris. Kratovil alleges that Morris assaulted him. Not long after the incident, Kratovil pressed charges against Morris .
NJ.com reports on the criminal complaint that was filed against Morris today:
A criminal complaint dated August 19 charges 30-year-old Joel Morris of Country Club Hills, Illinois, with harassment, assault and theft. It alleges Morris took Kratovil’s arm and shoved it behind his back, injuring his forearm and shoulder. The harassment and theft charges stem from Morris taking the camera, according to the complaint.
Kratovil said a public relations firm had alerted him to Ryan’s appearance and invited him to attend the NJ Parent Summit. He said he received permission and arrived at the hotel, checked in and recorded other speakers for two hours without issue.
But shortly before Ryan took the stage, a man began to question his camera and his presence, he said.
To recap what was alleged: In a lengthy thread posted to Twitter on August 5th, Kratovil alleged Morris stole but later returned his camera equipment at an August 3rd event in New Jersey, and that Morris also physically assaulted him. The event was the 4th annual New Jersey Parent Summit. Ryan was scheduled to be the keynote speaker.
Kratovil was able to record some of the incident, which you can watch below. Note that Morris first confers with Ryan to get the okay to act before proceeding to go after Kratovil:
Kratovil stated in tweets about the incident that while he was being forced out of the room, Ryan – who has been an extremely vocal critic of President Trump’s highly adversarial relationship with the media – explained why he was being kicked out:
“When I speak, I don’t have news covering my speech,” explained Ms. Ryan, adding she wanted to be able to have an “unfettered” discussion.
Never mind the other video camera (or the other news reporter) that still remained in the room.
— Charlie Kratovil (@Charlie4Change) August 5, 2019
Here’s another video that shows Morris aggressively intimidating the journalist and physically shoving him out of the hotel lobby as others looked on. One woman in a sequined dress (perhaps the event organizer?) is egging on Morris to force Kratovil to leave and shouts “how dare you?” at Kratovil. She has to be held back during the incident.
The hotel staff appear to be in shock:
The videos appear to back up Kratovil’s claims.
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi posted an image of the New Jersey criminal summons, along with a statement from Kratovil who hints he is exploring legal options against Ryan, too:
— Paul Farhi (@farhip) August 19, 2019
…apologize for her role in this ugly incident, I am now seeking legal counsel to initiate proceedings that will hold her accountable for the unacceptable and illegal behavior of her employee." More…
— Paul Farhi (@farhip) August 19, 2019
Kratovil posted a video clip about the summons, and said he is still waiting for comment from Ryan:
This was more than just an assault on me.
— Charlie Kratovil (@Charlie4Change) August 19, 2019
As far as I know, no one at CNN has commented on this matter to date, including media firefighter Brian Stelter. We all know Stelter would be first in line to demand immediate suspensions and firings if this had been a Fox News journalist treating a member of the media as Kratovil was.
I guess to Ryan and Stelter it’s okay to treat others in the mainstream media contemptuously as long as you’re a Democrat – or a CNN employee (or both).
— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –