Man who hit TV reporter with car sentenced for assault
The man who hit reporter Nicole Valdes with his car in Cape Coral, Florida, was sentenced for the assault on May 11, 2017, according to court documents reviewed by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.
Valdes and cameraman Channing Frampton were attempting to interview a woman accused of child cruelty for WINK-TV in January 2017 when they were approached by Walter Edward Crappse III, who The News-Press identified as the woman’s son.
Crappse began yelling and swearing at them, accusing them of invading his privacy and trespassing, and demanded that they turn off their cameras and stop the interview.
Crappse then drove his car at high speed toward Valdes and Frampton, clipping Valdes. WINK reported that neither journalist was hurt.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, Crappse pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was sentenced to one year of community control (a strict form of supervised probation), four years of regular probation, 100 hours of community service and $200 in restitution to WINK.
He was also ordered to have no contact with Valdes or Frampton, had his driver's license suspended, and was required to undergo psychological treatment, including an anger management program.
The state declined to prosecute a second charge of aggravated battery.
While attempting to interview a woman accused of child cruelty in Cape Coral, Florida on Jan. 5, 2017, journalist Nicole Valdes was hit and nearly run over by an angry neighbor of the woman, who drove his car at Valdes and cameraman Channing Frampton.
Valdes and Frampton are journalists at WINK News, a local CBS affiliate in southern Florida.
A video filmed by Frampton that was later broadcast on WINK shows Frampton and Valdes attempting to interview Janet Crappse, the woman at the center of the story, when a man across the street begins yelling and swearing at them. He accuses the journalists of invading his privacy and trespassing, and repeatedly demands that they turn off their cameras and stop interviewing his neighbor. Later in the video, the man can be seen driving his car at high speed toward Frampton and Valdes.
The car clipped Valdes, who sustained no injuries. Frampton was not hit.
The man behind the wheel was later arrested.