Ohio Man Arrested After Confronting NBC News Reporter During Live TV Coverage of Hurricane Ida

by Suzanne Halliburton

An Ohio man is in police custody after confronting an NBC News reporter this week as he was doing a live shot during Hurricane Ida coverage.

A video clip of NBC News reporter Shaq Brewster doing a live shot during Hurricane Ida went viral Monday morning. The reason? As Brewster gave his hurricane update from Gulfport, Miss., viewers could see in the background that a man had parked his white truck about 50 yards away and was running towards the reporter. Dagley confronted Brewster as the reporter was going live on MSNBC, the cable outlet of NBC News, Meanwhile, the remnants of Hurricane Ida still were pounding parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.

NBC reported that a U.S. marshal picked up Benjamin Eugene Dagley, 54, at a shopping plaza in Dayton, Ohio. U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott confirmed that Dagley was in custody. Dagley lives in Wooster, Ohio, which is about 100 miles from Dayton.

Elliott said:

“This violent fugitive was attempting to flee from his charges in Gulfport but the swift work of our task force members resulted in a timely arrest.

“Task force members received information that Dagley was still driving in his white truck bearing an Ohio license plate. Task force members located the truck in the parking lot and subsequently arrested him after watching him exit a store in the shopping plaza.”

It’s Unclear Why Ohio Man Was in Mississippi Or Why He Confronted NBC News Reporter

Here’s the video clip showing Dagley’s confrontation with Brewster. Initially, Dagley told Brewster to “report it accurately.” Brewster tried to ignore him, but he finally needed to end the shot. A stunned Craig Melvin, who was anchoring, was left with dead air. He said “Hey! Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey. We’re going to check in with Shaq Brewster just to make sure all is well. There is a lot of crazy out there. There is a lot of crazy.”

Police in Gulfport issued an arrest warrant for Dagley, Tuesday. Dagley will be charged with two counts of simple assault, one count of disturbing the peace and one count of violating an emergency curfew, according to Gulfport police. Dagley already was on probation after he pleaded guilty for breaking into a commercial business he used to own. The incident happened in 2017 and he pleaded guilty to vandalism, attempted assault and inducing panic. Dagley was sentenced to five years’ probation with 30 days in jail. The court also fined him $5,000 and ordered him to pay $10,000 in restitution

It’s unclear why he was driving near the Gulfport shoreline or why he even was in Mississippi as Hurricane Ida swept through. The local police said that they received tips from the public to help identify Dagley. When he confronted Brewster, Hurricane Ida had been downgraded into a tropical storm.

After the incident, Shaq Brewster tweeted: “Appreciate the concern guys. The team and I are all good!”