U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Multimedia journalist assaulted while reporting from scene of Providence shootout

Incident Details

Date of Incident
February 10, 2022

Assault

Was the journalist targeted?
Yes
February 10, 2022

WJAR-TV multimedia journalist Joanna Bouras was pushed into a concrete wall by an individual while reporting from the scene of a shootout in Providence, Rhode Island, on Feb. 10, 2022.

The Providence Journal reported that Bouras was covering a domestic disturbance that resulted in a gunfight between police and a 61-year-old man in the early hours of Feb. 10. A part of the house caught fire during the confrontation, and the man was found dead after the blaze was extinguished.

WJAR spokesperson Jessica Bellucci told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker that police on the scene informed Bouras and photographer Bray Beardsley that the man’s family was on the way to the house and asked them to move their vehicle around the corner.

Shortly after 5 p.m., the man’s son — identified as Joshua Maclean — confronted Bouras as she was filming, yelling at her and pushing her hard enough to cause her “to fall into a concrete wall,” the Journal reported.

“Bray did not see Joshua Maclean approaching because he had panned the camera to show the house in the background,” Bellucci said. “As the crew had chosen to set up close to police, officers responded in seconds, apprehending and arresting Maclean.”

Bellucci confirmed that Bouras was not injured in the attack and plans to press charges.

Police Cmdr. Thomas Verdi told the Journal that Maclean has been charged with simple assault. Providence Police Department Public Information Officer Lindsay Lague told the Tracker they are only able to release police reports following in-person requests at their records bureau.

Bouras thanked the Journal for reporting on the story in a tweet, writing, “I want to be EXTREMELY clear, no one should EVER touch a TV Reporter or anyone who is trying to do their job.”

Bouras did not respond separately to a request for further comment.

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