Mother of Shooting Victim Sics Pit Bulls on Pushy Local News Reporter
A Providence, Rhode Island, mother whose teenage daughter was shot during a family member's kindergarten graduation party was clearly in no mood for reporters when approached by a news crew from the local ABC affiliate WLNE.
But Channel 6 News reporter Abbey Niezgoda, 24, persisted, and Melissa Lawrence decided to resort to violence in order to get her to leave.
According to Niezgoda, Lawrence initially replied "OK, that's good" when asked for a reaction to her daughter's shooting, but then "suddenly hurled a rock at ABC6 photographer Marc Jackson."
A video of the incident, shot by Jackson, appears to edit out some interaction between Lawrence's response and the rock-throwing, so it is unclear how much time actually passed between the two moments.
Niezgoda claims the crew "started to leave" when Lawrence reemerged from her house holding a baseball bat.
The footage skips forward again to the moment Lawrence orders her two pit bull terriers to attack Niezgoda and Jackson.
The 24-year-old reporter is forced to drop her mic and flee from the dogs, but one apparently managed to leave a bite mark on her forearm.
Lawrence was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of felony assault. She was wearing a "My Attitude is Your Problem" T-shirt at the time.
Lawrence was later released on $50,000 bail and ordered to return for her hearing on August 8th.
As for Lawrence's daughter Ny'asia, she has been released from the hospital after being treated for a gunshot wound to the lower back, and is continuing her recovery at home.