November 11, 2012

LIFE IN THE PROGRESSIVE HAVEN OF OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA:

A KPIX news cameraman was punched and robbed during a live broadcast outside an Oakland high school, the latest in a spate of holdups targeting the media, police said Thursday.

Reporter Anne Makovec and cameraman Gregg Welk were on the air shortly after noon Wednesday outside Oakland Technical High School near the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway. They were at the school to do a story on the passage of Proposition 30, the tax measure preventing deep cuts to education.

As Makovec was finishing her report, police said, five men rushed up and grabbed a $6,000 camera from the tripod. Viewers saw the live picture being jarred and turned sideways for about two seconds.

One of the assailants punched Welk in the mouth before the group fled in a Mercedes-Benz, which apparently was accompanied by a Lexus, police said. Welk declined treatment by paramedics but saw his doctor.

“He is fine, and he is actually working today,” KPIX spokeswoman Akilah Bolden-Monifa said Thursday.

Bolden-Monifa said the station would continue to report in Oakland but declined to specify whether any changes would be made to protect its crews.

Sources, however, said all KPIX crews covering stories in Oakland would be accompanied by security guards, day or night, effective immediately.

Wow, now you need armed guards escorting your camera crews? How third-world. But then, that’s how things usually go in progressive havens.