Case sealed for man who attacked New York Post photographer
The case against the man who assaulted New York Post photographer G.N. Miller while being evicted from an encampment in New York City’s Riverbank State Park has been sealed, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker in an email on Oct. 11, 2023.
Miller and his colleague, Post reporter Kevin Sheehan, were covering the New York Police Department’s eviction of an area of the park in March 2022. Sheehan captured video of Rewell Altunaga, who the paper reported had been living in the park, hitting Miller with a garbage bag, causing Miller’s camera to smash to the ground. Altunaga also hit Sheehan with a tree branch and knocked his phone out of his hand.
Altunaga was charged with second-degree assault and criminal mischief, the Post reported at the time.
A spokesperson for District Attorney’s Office told the Tracker that the case against Altunaga could have been sealed for several reasons: the case was dismissed, the defendant accepted a six-month probation deal (a so-called adjournment in contemplation of dismissal), or the defendant pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct or another noncriminal violation.
G.N. Miller, a photographer for the New York Post, was assaulted by a man who was being evicted from his makeshift dwelling in Riverbank State Park in New York City on March 28, 2022.
According to the New York Post, the man, Rewell Altunaga, has lived in the park for several months. His eviction came the day after city officials issued a "notice of clean up" in the area of the park where Altunaga was living. Miller, who was reporting on the New York Police Department eviction of the area with a colleague, captured the assault on video.
Miller did not respond to requests for comment from the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. Miller’s colleague, Post reporter Kevin Sheehan, was also assaulted by Altunaga. Sheehan filmed NYPD police officers arresting Altunaga after he hit Miller with a garbage bag, causing Miller’s camera to smash to the ground.
According to the Post, Altunaga was charged with second-degree assault and released without bail on March 30. A judge also ordered that he remain clear of journalists Miller and Sheehan. NYPD has acknowledged but not responded to a request for more details.