A West Virginia man was arrested after police say he confessed to attacking a local news reporter covering a story on animal abuse Monday.
According to WCHS-TV, photojournalist Bob Aaron was attacked by a man while standing on a public road. His camera was destroyed and the attacker, identified as Howard Lilly, allegedly stole his tripod.
“He came up off of his property onto the roadway,” Aaron told WCHS. “And before we could have much of a conversation further about it he came at me grabbed the tripod and starting hitting me with it. He broke the camera lens and gave me a couple of pretty good shots before we left.”
Aaron, who never got close enough to the scene to see if the horses and mules at the center of the story were in distress, suffered minor injuries, but still visited the hospital as a precautionary measure. He was on public property at the time of the incident.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” Aaron said. “I think I might even know this guy maybe from mules or someplace in the past. And he kind of just went crazy there for a minute. And then he wouldn’t return the tripod. He said I’m keeping it and he went back onto his property.”
“No question I had the right to be there but sometimes people don’t understand that,” he continued. “That you do on public property. They don’t want themselves photographed.They don’t want their residence photographed. They don’t want something photographed and that’s the reaction you get out of them.”
Lilly was booked by state police for destruction of property, grand larceny and malicious wounding. He is being held on a cash bond of $25,000, according to WCHS.
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