BERKELEY -- KRON 4 reporter Stanley Roberts was attacked while he was attempting to film his "People Behaving Badly" segment in Berkeley Thursday afternoon when his subjects took exception, resulting in a sprained back.
Two suspects in the attack were detained and later arrested on suspicion of battery and felony vadalism. They were booked into the Berkeley City Jail, said Officer Jennifer Coats, spokesperson for the Berkeley Police Department.
Roberts said he was filming outside of Amoeba Music located at 2455 Telegraph Ave. doing his "normal schtick" for a segment about how squatters begging for money had become more rampant in the area.
He said he had filmed three men from a distance at first and then walked up to them to get a closer shot.
The men, who have not yet been identified by police, told Roberts they did not want to be filmed, but because they were in a public place, Roberts said, he told them he was allowed to do so.
According to Roberts, one of the men then began yelling profanities at him and walked up closer. The man put his face in the camera and started to antagonize him.
"No matter where I moved, they followed me," Roberts said.
Even though Roberts tried to move on, they would not leave him alone, and suddenly, he was attacked from behind.
"I never saw it coming," he said.
When the first man attacked, Roberts said he turned around, grabbed him by the throat and pushed him up against a wall, telling him to not touch him before he let him go. Roberts then said he tried to walk away but that the men followed him and attacked again.
"I decided that time I was going to fight back," he said.
During the scuffle, Roberts had his press credentials stolen and his $5,000 camera and $1,000 microphone broken before police arrived.
Roberts said he suffered a sprained back and minor cuts and abrasions, but did not require medical attention at the scene.
This is not the first time a reporter or a cameraman has been attacked while on the job. A KPIX news cameraman was punched and robbed during a live broadcast outside Oakland Technical High School in November.
Contact Katie Nelson at 925-945-4782 or follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.