U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Florida man arrested for assaulting journalist, shattering windshield

Incident Details

Courtesy Troy Campbell

A man was arrested for damaging the windshield of a news car and assaulting the reporter inside it. The shattered windshield was captured by another reporter also at the scene of an earlier burglary.

— Courtesy Troy Campbell
February 8, 2021 - Update

Florida reporter’s attacker sentenced after assault

The Florida man who in 2019 assaulted WFOL-TV journalist Albert “David” Bodden and broke his windshield with a beer bottle was sentenced to one day in jail, plus community service, probation and fines.

Christopher Kelly Davis pleaded no contest and was sentenced on Feb. 8, 2021, in Seminole County Court to two years of community service, three years of probation and a $368 fine, as well as to one day in jail for criminal mischief, assault and disorderly intoxication, according to court records reviewed by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. He was also ordered to pay $1,121.45 in restitution to the Orlando-based Fox Television station.

According to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Davis was arrested for the assault on May 3, 2019. He had approached Bodden while the reporter was covering an armed burglary in Altamonte Springs, Florida, and demanded that he leave the area. Davis then threw the beer bottle he was carrying at the station’s news vehicle, shattering the windshield, and followed Bodden into the car, telling him, “I’m going to fuck you up.”

Davis was later arrested again for violating probation in the case, documents reviewed by the Tracker showed, and sentenced to additional community service and probation.

May 3, 2019

A man was arrested in Altamonte Springs, Florida, on May 3, 2019, for assaulting a FOX 35 News journalist and shattering his windshield with a beer bottle.

Reporter and anchor Albert “David” Bodden was covering an armed burglary that had taken place earlier that day when he was confronted by a nearby resident identified as Christopher Davis. Davis, who was not involved in the burglary, accosted Bodden and demanded that he leave the area, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The Seminole County Sheriff’s Office arrest report states that Davis appeared to be drunk—slurring his words, smelling of alcohol and carrying a bottle of Bud Light—and followed Bodden back to the FOX 35 vehicle while shouting profanities. When Bodden got into the passenger-side seat of the vehicle and closed the door, Davis threw the bottle he was carrying at the car, shattering the driver’s side windshield.

According to the report, Davis then entered the vehicle from the driver’s side of the car. The report quotes Davis telling Bodden, “I’m going to fuck you up,” as he raised a clenched fist toward him. Bodden, fearing for his safety, exited the vehicle on the passenger side to avoid a possible blow.

Approximately $500 of damage was done to the vehicle’s windshield, and Bodden gave deputies a sworn statement and informed them that he wished to pursue charges.

Davis was arrested at the scene on the charges of simple assault, burglary of an occupied conveyance, criminal mischief and disorderly intoxication. His arraignment has been scheduled for June 4.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected].