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Two arrested in connection to attack on Miami news crew

Two arrested in connection to attack on Miami news crew
© Getty Images

Two people were arrested Thursday in connection with an attack on a local CBS news crew while it was covering street crime in the city of Miami Beach, Fla., CBS4 Miami reported Thursday.

Police arrested Billy Lee Bronner, 26, and Alysia Nicole Freed, 23, and charged them with criminal mischief and battery.

The charges came a day after on-air reporter Bobeth Yates and photojournalist Ebenezer Mends were attacked while reporting on a city resolution that changed bar closing times to address crime in the entertainment district.

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The crew was shooting footage around 9 p.m. Wednesday for the 11 p.m. broadcast when Mends noticed a fight and began recording the conflict.

As he did, a group of people approached him and asked that he stop filming the disturbance, CBS4 reported. 

After a man placed his hands on Mends’s camera, Yates stepped in and told the crowd that Mends would continue filming. At that point someone from the crowd knocked the camera out of Mends’s hands. 

Yates called the police and followed the crowd. Shortly afterward, someone from the crowd threw alcohol on Yates and Mends, they said.  

Yates said it was the first time she’s experienced this kind of attack while reporting.

“Just really shaken up. Been reporting for a very long time, don’t want to date myself, but about 20 years, and I’ve never been attacked like this on a story,” Yates said about the incident.

“The ironic part was we were actually covering crime on South Beach,” Yates said.

A recent study by the Radio Television Digital News Association found that more than 1 in 5 U.S. television newsrooms reported that their journalists were violently attacked last year and even more stations in larger markets reported similar incidents.