Man arrested for assaulting reporter outside of Trump’s reelection announcement rally
A Florida man was charged with battery after assaulting an Orlando Sentinel reporter on June 18, 2019, at the Amway Center in Orlando, where President Donald Trump was hosting a rally to launch his bid for re-election in 2020.
Sentinel reporter Michael Williams was filming at least three individuals with his cell phone as they were removed from the building. One of the men, later identified as Daniel Kestner, appeared to be engaged in a dispute with a second man, but his ire turned to Williams when he noticed that the journalist was filming the altercation.
Kestner then began to approach Williams, hurling curses and demanding that he stop filming them. When Williams didn’t comply with his demands, Kestner can be heard saying, “I promise you I’ll kick you in the nuts.”
The Sentinel reported that Williams retreated backward, but Kestner caught up to him and smacked his hand, attempting to knock the cell phone to the ground.
In the video, security officers can be seen immediately coming between Kestner and Williams, ordering Kestner to immediately leave the property.
Orange County Clerk records obtained by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker show that Kestner was later arrested and charged with battery for “willingly striking” Williams. A first-degree misdemeanor, Kestner could face up to one year in jail if convicted.
According to a police report obtained by the Sentinel, Kestner was intoxicated during the altercation.
Julie Anderson, editor in chief of the Sentinel, told Newsweek that ahead of the rally the newsroom spoke with the reporters and photographers covering the event, “telling them to be careful and vigilant about their own personal safety.”
Anderson told the Tracker that her staff has faced intimidation, threats and name-calling at Trump rallies since 2016.