Cameraman keeps shooting as television reporter attacked in SD
SAN DIEGO - A television reporter was bitten and beaten as he and his cameraman, who captured the attack on video, tried to do a story on a couple they believed were involved in a real estate scam.
Reporter John Mattes of Fox 6 News sustained cracked ribs, bite wounds and cuts to his face during Tuesday's confrontation with the couple, identified by authorities as Assad "Sam" Suleiman, 36, and his wife, Rosa Amelia Barraza, 33.
Mattes accused Suleiman of stealing identities so he could buy houses and then rent them to others, according to Fox 6.
In television footage, Mattes and cameraman Dennis Waldrop are seen talking to a man outside a La Jolla area home when a woman arrives and starts screaming and swearing at them. She sprays a bottle of water at the pair and strikes Mattes in the face with the plastic container.
A man, identified as Suleiman, arrives, gets out of a car and heads for Mattes. He punches him in the face and head and puts him in a headlock.
Brian Phillips, the man who was about to be interviewed, is seen trying to pull Suleiman off Mattes. The three fall to the ground, where Suleiman continues to kick at Mattes.
"He literally just came flying straight at me ... and I am feeling someone ripping at my face, pulling at my hair," Mattes told Fox 6. "We are talking about someone gouging, scratching and biting me."
The camera showed Mattes after the attack with blood streaming down the side of his face.
During the struggle, Barraza was seen waving something above the trio but a passer-by took it away from her. Police Lt. Dan Christman later identified the object as a perfume bottle.
Barraza, who during the confrontation threatened to get a gun, was booked for investigation of making a terrorist threat, displaying a deadly weapon, battery, and theft for allegedly stealing the cameraman's microphone, Christman said.
The lieutenant said Suleiman was booked for investigation of felony assault.
Police Detective Gary Hassen said the pair posted bail Tuesday night.
The case will be sent to the district attorney, police said.
On the Net: http://www.fox6.com