U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Gothamist reporter Jake Offenhartz attacked by 'Proud Boy' protester

Incident Details

Date of Incident
February 2, 2017
New York, New York


Was the journalist targeted?
February 2, 2017

Jake Offenhartz, a reported for Gothamist, reported that he was pushed into a tree by Salvatore Cipolla, a member of the alt-right group “Proud Boys,” on Feb. 2, 2017.

Offenhartz was reporting at New York University, where “Proud Boys” founder Gavin McInnes was scheduled to speak and where large groups of protesters and counterprotesters had gathered.

In an article for Gothamist, Offenhartz wrote that a “Proud Boy” counterprotester called for violence against anti-fascist protesters and then tried to punch him.

“One of the Proud Boys urged the others to join him in battling the ‘faggots wearing black that won’t let us in,’ then, perhaps believing that I fit the bill, ended up taking a few swings at me,” Offenhartz wrote. “He ended up shoving me into a tree, though some of his fellow Proud Boys did attempt to restrain him. The man was later arrested for punching a DNAinfo reporter.”

Salvatore Cipolla was immediately arrested after accosting Noah Hurowitz, a DNAinfo reporter. He was cited for criminal mischief and second-degree harassment. After pleading guilty, he was sentenced to community service.

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