U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Man arrested following assault of reporter during live broadcast

Incident Details

Date of Incident
May 23, 2020
Shorewood, Illinois


Was the journalist targeted?
Screenshot via Daily Mail

An Illinois reporter was assaulted during a live broadcast by a man who grabbed her and yelled obscenities.

— Screenshot via Daily Mail
May 23, 2020

WGN 9 News reporter Gaynor Hall was assaulted while reporting live in Shorewood, Illinois, on May 23, 2020.

Hall was on air during the 10 p.m. newscast reporting on wind damage in the area when a man suddenly lurched into the frame, Buzzfeed reported. The man — later identified as 20-year-old Eric Farina — grabbed Hall around the shoulders and shouted “Fuck her right in the pussy!” before running off.

In a Facebook post about the incident, Hall wrote, “A brief note to the young man who jumped in my liveshot tonight: It was not funny. You violated my personal space. You grabbed me. You scared me. Was it worth it?”

Hall later updated the post to note that, with the help of viewers, Farina had been identified and arrested. Neither Hall nor the station responded to requests for comment.

Shorewood Police told WGN that Farina was charged with battery and disorderly conduct on May 24. Farina reportedly made a full confession to officers and was released on a $2,500 bond, WGN reported.

Both charges are misdemeanors, and Farina faces up to a year in jail and a fine convicted.

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