Lawyer allegedly threatened journalist over footage at lockdown rally
A knife-wielding California lawyer forced a TV cameraman into his news truck and forced him to delete footage showing him protesting the state’s lockdown order, according to reports.
Christien Peterson, 36, was arrested Friday on counts of kidnapping and exhibiting a deadly weapon other than a firearm hours after a protest in Huntington Beach of the ongoing restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, KTTV reports.
Peterson approached a KTTV photographer and reporter and demanded that they delete any video footage of him, the station reports.
Peterson then allegedly pulled out a pocketknife and forced the photographer into his live truck to delete the video. When cops later arrived on the scene, Peterson was still holding the photographer at knifepoint inside the van, KTTV reports.
The unidentified photographer and reporter were not injured, according to the station. A message seeking additional comment about the pair from station reps was not immediately returned early Tuesday.
Peterson, who is believed to be an attorney in Los Angeles, was being held on $100,000 bond. He’s expected to appear in court Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Peterson, of Costa Mesa, was allegedly intoxicated at the time and asked a photographer not to film him. He then pulled out a pocketknife and threatened the man when he refused, a Huntington Beach police spokeswoman said.
The reporter who accompanied the photographer then called police, the Times reports.
Both employees were “pretty shaken up,” but are expected to be OK, Fox spokeswoman Erica Keane told the newspaper. They will likely take a “couple of days off,” Keane said.
More than 200 people gathered for the afternoon protest, which lasted about two hours. Peterson was taken into custody just before 8 p.m., police said.
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