A man who could have violated his Ohio probation while traveling to Mississippi is wanted by police in the storm-stricken state as a suspect in the on-air assault on MSNBC correspondent Shaquille Brewster yesterday.
The Gulfport, Mississippi Police Department identified the suspect as Benjamin Eugene Dagley of Wooster, Ohio, and today issued arrest warrants charging him with two counts of simple assault, one count of peace and one count of violating the emergency curfew.
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According to the department, the suspect was traveling in a Ford truck on Highway 90 during a city-wide curfew caused by Hurricane Ida. After helping the public identify the man, police reviewed Dagley’s criminal history and contacted the Cuyahoga County, Ohio Adult Probation Department about a potential probation violation. One of the conditions of Dagley’s probation is a travel restriction.
Gulfport Police believe Dagley is no longer on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and is traveling in a white 2016 Ford F150 with Ohio license plate number PJR1745. Police are asking anyone who knows where it is or sees the truck to contact their local law enforcement agency.
Brewster, an NBC News and MSNBC correspondent, was doing a live shot in the aftermath of the hurricane yesterday when a man jumped out of a white van and ran towards him, screaming and appearing to rush at the reporter .
Check out the footage of the incident below.
The live shot quickly passed to MSNBC host Craig Melvin, who looked surprised as he said, “Hey, hey, hey, hey. We’re going to check in with Shaq Brewster just to make sure everything’s okay. a lot of crazy people there, a lot of crazy people.
Brewster then tweeted, “Appreciate the worry guys. The team and I are all good! “, Although Melvin later wrote,” This is more than unacceptable and disgusting. @shaqbrewster was trying to do his job at a beach in Gulfport, MS. Shaq is fine. This guy who almost attacked him clearly isn’t.
MSNBC President Rashida Jones later said in a statement, “Shaq Brewster is an exceptional journalist. Like the consummate professional, he didn’t let anyone intimidate him into doing his job. We are happy that he and the team are safe, and we couldn’t be more proud and supportive of their work.
The on-air incident is apparently not the first time the suspect has been caught misbehaving on camera: A 2017 Cleveland Plain Dealer report said Dagley was facing criminal charges after being filmed breaking into an electroplating company he previously owned and drilling holes in various chemical tanks. A Cleveland Plating security officer required medical attention after being exposed to hazardous tank chemicals.
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