DULUTH – A WCCO journalist is seeking charges against the man who punched his phone out of his hands near President Donald Trump’s rally last week, police said Tuesday.
“The victim expressed the desire to move forward with seeking charges,” Duluth police said in a statement. “We are forwarding the case to the City Attorney’s Office for review of misdemeanor charges of Disorderly Conduct.”
Earlier Tuesday, Duluth police issued an incorrect statement saying Dymanh Chhoun, who works for WCCO, would not seek charges against the man who hit his phone. A police spokesperson said the agency had been in contact with Chhoun last week and mistook his lack of response since then to mean he did not want charges pressed.
“In some situations, the Duluth police department consults with the city attorney's office prior to issuing a citation,” City Attorney Rebecca St. George said in a statement. “We take all criminal matters seriously and are closely reviewing all of the available evidence in this case.”
According to police, a man in a vehicle with Trump signs was arguing with a group of Joe Biden supporters protesting the president’s Sept. 30 visit to the Duluth airport. Chhoun was using his phone to take video of the encounter near the intersection of Airport Road and Venture Avenue on Wednesday evening.
When the Trump supporter realized he was being filmed, he turned and hit Chhoun’s phone while it was recording. The station aired the footage, which was also shared by Duluth police asking for help identifying the man.
Police said Chhoun was not hurt, nor was his phone damaged. Chhoun did not immediately return a request for comment.