Man who attacked reporter trying to interview him sentenced to probation and a fine
A man who assaulted WJBK FOX 2-TV reporter Rob Wolchek in Detroit, Michigan, was sentenced on June 21, 2022, for the attack, according to court documents reviewed by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.
Wolchek was at a police station in April 2022 to interview a detective about charges against Seth Chuhran, a fence contractor Wolcheck had featured in a news segment. Wolchek saw Chuhran arrive at the station and was attempting to interview him when Chuhran took a swing at Wolchek’s microphone, according to FOX’s video of the incident.
Wolchek’s microphone was not damaged.
Chuhran pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge and was sentenced to 18 months of probation and a fine of $675. An assault and battery charge was dismissed.
Rob Wolchek, an investigative reporter for Fox 2 News, was assaulted on April 19, 2022, while on assignment in Detroit, Michigan.
Wolchek told the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker he often profiles bad contractors for his "Hall of Shame" segment, and had featured fence contractor Seth Chuhran in a 2020 segment after he was arrested for allegedly failing to build fences for paying customers.
Fox 2 News video of the incident shows Chuhran leaving a police station before assaulting Wolchek. Wolchek said he happened to be at the police station to interview a detective working on Chuhran's case when he saw him arrive at the police station.
"We saw [Chuhran] drive up to the station and thought, ’OK, let's try to talk to him when he comes out,’" Wolchek said.
The video shows Wolchek holding a microphone and attempting to ask him questions before Chuhran walks toward him and swings at the microphone.
Wolchek said he has been reporting on Chuhran, who has been arrested more than six times, for nearly two years.
Wolchek said that he felt safe trying to interview Chuhran in front of the police station but was not aware officers had witnessed the incident and did not expect Chuhran to get arrested.
"I've been doing this a long time, and it's not that unusual, particularly after these guys who are exposed and put on the news to retaliate with aggression when they see me again," Wolchek said.
Wolchek filed a police report, and Chuhran was charged with assault and battery under a city ordinance. He said the microphone was not damaged.