The owner of an auto body shop is charged with assaulting a Fox 29 news reporter and cameraman.
Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said the incident occurred about 5 p.m. on March 1 outside Modern Auto Crafters in the 7000 block of West Chester Pike.
According to Chitwood, the news team was doing a story on potholes and damage caused to vehicles when Peter Kathopoulis confronted them.
“A business owner didn’t want us shooting a story that had nothing to do with him,” Fox 29 reporter Chris O’Connell posted on his Facebook page on the night of March 1.
According to O’Connell’s post, he “tried ripping the camera” out of photographer Dave Eizen’s hand. He also allegedly hurled threats and threw slurs.
Then, as O’Connell was on the phone to 911, Kathopoulis walked over and spit at O’Connell, which was caught on video and posted on Facebook, the reporter wrote.
“We are pressing charges to send a message,” O’Connell wrote.
According to Chitwood, the news team had received permission from an owner of a vehicle on Kathopoulis’ lot to use it in the pothole segment.
Kathopoulis is charged with simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct. His bail was set at $30,000 unsecured. A preliminary hearing is scheduled March 14 in Magisterial District Judge Harry J. Karapalides court.
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