- Nathaniel "Zeke" Campfield, a government and politics reporter for The Oklahoman, was arrested after Moore High School's graduation May 25 .
- Witnesses complained he had bumped into them and taken pictures up graduates' dresses.
- Police were not able to find such photos -- there was no SD card in the camera -- and Campfield denied the allegations.
- Campfield faced charges in Montana in 2003 for breaking into a house and stealing panties.
An Oklahoma City reporter has been arrested for allegedly taking up the dress photos while covering the graduation of a high school in an area in middle of recovering from a massive EF 5 tornado that ripped through less than two weeks ago.
Nathaniel "Zeke" Campfield, a reporter for the state's largest newspaper The Oklahoman, was arrested on assault and battery charges, according to KOKH, after women complained he bumped them and took pictures up their clothing at Moore High School's graduation.
Nathaniel "Zeke" Campfield's Twitter profile (Image: Twitter)
The city of Moore, Oklahoma, was most affected by the deadly tornado that tore through the area on May 20, killing 24 and injuring several hundred others as it destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.
The 31-year-old government and politics reporter was detained by those who called the police Saturday at a local convention center and was arrested when police arrived when a woman said she would press charges. Three high schools were holding their graduation ceremonies in the convention center back-to-back Saturday.
Southmoore High School senior Miranda Mann, center, talks to a classmate as they get ready to attend their commencement ceremony in Oklahoma City, Saturday, May 25, 2013, five days after a tornado wreaked havoc in their attendance area in Moore, Okla. Mann's home was among those destroyed after a huge tornado roared through the Oklahoma City suburb Monday, flattening a wide swath of homes and businesses. (Photo: AP/Charlie Riedel)
Here's more from KOKH, giving background on the situation:
When officers arrived, they spoke with Campfield who said he was at the Convention Center on an assignment from The Oklahoman. Campfield consented to allowing an officer to look at his camera and the pictures on it. As the officer looked through the camera, he noticed there were no pictures and there was not an SD card inside the camera. Campfield told police he had forgotten the card at home.
As officers investigated, they spoke with a woman who said she saw Campfield taking pictures and he bumped into her and brushed past her a total of four separate times. The victim told police she was not in a crowded area and there was no reason for him to be bumping into her.
Police next spoke with an underage girl who said she was walking with her half-sister when Campfield bumped into her backside multiple times. She also said it was not crowded where she was and there was no reason for them to bump into each other. The girl recently broke her arm and had it in a cast and was using her body to keep him away from her injured arm.
That's when a witness got their attention.
Campfield denied all the witnesses accounts that he had taken such pictures.
Zeke Campfield (Photo via Twitter)
KOKH reported police trying to take a picture with the camera but found it didn't work without the SD card inserted. People claimed they had seen him taking pictures.
The website Lost Ogle pointed to even more of a back story into Campfield's past. It found a Montana newspaper reporting in 2003 that Campfield had received felony burlgary and misdemeanor theft charges for stealing thong underwear. The Missoula Independent reported:
According to the court record: Coming home, two women spied Campfield in the doorway of their house. When they confronted him, he fled. The women called 911 and the police picked up Campfield two blocks away. Campfield told the police that he thought the house belonged to a friend, a last-nameless “Megan,” whom he’d met at a bar in 1999, and that he was just going in, late at night, to see if she still lived there.
The Missoulan's public record in August 2003 reported that Campfield, 21 years old at the time, had received a three-year deferred sentence for burglary.
It was confirmed by The Oklahoman that Campfield was on official assignment for the high school graduation Saturday. The newspaper's editor, Kelly Dyer Fry, wrote in a statement that they are aware of the arrest and have taken internal steps to address the situation.
"Zeke Campfield has been a valuable, trusted member of our news staff for more than a year, so we are very surprised by the allegations in the police report. We will continue to monitor the situation, but will allow the authorities and the court system to do their job before finalizing our response," Dyer Fry wrote.
Campfield's latest story in The Oklahoman about a memorial outside Plaza Towers Elementary School published Thursday.
Campfield, generally a frequent tweeter, has been largely silent on Twitter since his May 25 arrest, but did recently retweet a story about schools with safe rooms.