Middletown Press reporter assaulted outside Connecticut courthouse

The Middletown Press| Connecticut Newsroom
A reporter for The Middletown Press was assaulted Monday outside Middlesex County Courthouse in Middletown, Conn., Monday, Viktoria Sundqvist reports. The father of a defendant accused of making a bomb threat was charged with the assault.

The reporter was following the suspects and their friends and families outside the courthouse, where other media was also gathered, and was videotaping people walking toward the municipal parking garage when a man struck her from behind, causing her to almost fall over and dropping her cell phone.

In an email, Lauren Sievert confirms she is the reporter who was struck; she was evaluated at a local hospital and released Monday evening. Middletown Press staff provided photographs to the state police, who charged Stephen Doran with “third-degree assault and second-degree criminal mischief,” Sundqvist reports.

Another journalist from The Middletown Press was roughed up “on that same sidewalk when someone shoved one of our photographers, grabbed her camera and spit on her” while covering an alpaca-stabbing case, Journal Register Connecticut Group Editor Matt DeRienzo writes in a blog post.

“It’s been a difficult and at times scary few months for our journalists in Connecticut,” DeRienzo writes, citing Hurricane Sandy and the Newtown massacre. He also cites the threats made against journalists at The Journal News in suburban New York.

“Our reporters and photographers press on in the face of insults, constant second-guessing and critique, and anger from those who do not want a light aimed at their situation,” DeRienzo writes. Connecticut state police, he says, “recognized, implicitly, that reporter’s place alongside police, prosecutor, judge and defense attorney in the process of delivering justice and protecting the public’s interest.”

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