Sunday, June 21, 2009

Getting a kick out of journalism?

Geez, I would have picked Howie Carr as the Boston Herald staffer most likely to attack an old man.

BUT NOOOOOO. Cops in a Boston suburb say it was another Herald reporter who mistook an emphysemic, 74-year-old man for a cage-match opponent.

The Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Mass., has
the tale of the tape:
GROVELAND — A Boston Herald crime reporter is charged with kicking an elderly man with emphysema in the chest at a local laundromat, police said.

O'Ryan Johnson, 33, of 293 E St., South Boston, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a shod foot, on a person over the age of 65.

Witnesses told police that Johnson asked for help with a washing machine at Classic Cleaners Laundromat at 4 Elm St. Tuesday afternoon. When Kent White, 74, of Georgetown approached to help, witnesses said words were exchanged and Johnson began swearing at the elderly man.

Johnson then kicked the 5 foot 6 inch, 130-pound victim in the chest, witnesses told police.

"The victim doesn't remember what he said and then Johnson started swearing at him," Deputy police Chief Jeff Gillen said. "The victim backed away and Johnson ran at him, kicking him in the chest."

Gillen said the attack was especially brutal considering White's size and lack of threat to Johnson. Johnson is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds, according to court records. Johnson, a former Eagle-Tribune reporter, recently wrote a story for the Boston Herald about his experience as an amateur boxer.
JOHNSON'S EDITORS refused to comment on speculation that the Boston Globe chapter of the Newspaper Guild was trying to hire the crime writer away from the Herald to head up its ongoing negotiations with the New York Times Co.

HAT TIP: Romenesko on Poynter Online.

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