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CNN Pundit’s Bodyguard Charged with Assault after Removing Reporter Covering Her Speech

April Ryan asks questions during an exchange with President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, D.C., November 7, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

CNN pundit April Ryan’s security guard has been charged with assault after he forcibly removed a local New Jersey reporter from an event at which Ryan was delivering a speech.

Charlie Kravotil, editor of New Brunswick Today, claims that Ryan’s bodyguard, 30-year-old Joel Morris, approached him during Ryan’s speech at The Heldrich Hotel on August 3 and stole his camera after he refused to stop filming.

A video of the incident shows Kravotil, who secured press credentials for the event, following Morris into the lobby of the hotel to retrieve his camera. After the local journalist reclaimed his camera, Morris grabbed his arm, placed it behind his back, and shoved him out of the hotel.

Morris has been charged with harassment, assault, and theft in connection with the incident.

Kravotil says he was invited to the event and was allowed to film for roughly two hours before Ryan took the stage to deliver a speech, at which point Morris stole his camera but allowed other people in the room to continue filming. He called on Ryan to apologize for the incident in a Monday tweet.

“She’s been silent about the unacceptable and illegal behavior of her bodyguard, Joel Morris, and we are still waiting for her comment on this unfortunate incident,” Kravotil said in a video posted to Twitter. “Maybe now that there are criminal charges, we might hear something from her. I hope, sincerely, that she does comment and I hope she does condemn this. This is unacceptable. . . . In our country, we have freedom of the press.”

Ryan is a vociferous critic of President Trump and routinely disparages him for his rhetorical attacks on the press, even authoring a book on the subject last year entitled Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House.

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