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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) A Charlotte man is behind bars after shoving a WMBF News reporter, snatching her microphone, and shouting expletives on live television Wednesday night.
While standing on the sidewalk at 915 North Ocean Boulevard in the heart of Myrtle Beach, reporter Ashley Taylor was speaking live during the WMBF 11 p.m. newscast concerning the escalating crime rates across the Grand Strand, when she was violently pushed from in front of the camera.
Justin Moore, 20, of Charlotte, NC, jumped in front of the camera after nearly shoving Taylor to the ground. Donning a blue t-shirt and dark sunglasses, the man snatched the microphone from the startled reporter's hand and began shouting the "N" word, in reference to himself.
An unexpecting audience viewing the newscast suddenly saw Moore come across their screen and scream, "I am that [‘N' word]," before the live shot ended.
In a report from the Myrtle Beach Police Department, officers state they were contacted by the victim who said while she prepared to go live on television she and a coworker noticed a group of four to five males lingering in the area.
When Taylor began talking, she told police, one of the males knocked her out of the way, nearly causing her to fall to the pavement after grabbing her microphone.
Police officers were given pictures of the suspect, who was arrested only moments later. Video of the assault was given to police who placed the recording into evidence.
Moore was placed under arrest and charged with third degree assault and battery. He was released from jail Thursday afternoon on a bond of just under $1,400.
Taylor returned to work Thursday afternoon and reports that she is fine and appreciative of WMBF viewers who have reached out in concern.
Capt. David Knipes with the Myrtle Beach Police Department mentioned the unusual nature of this case. Knipes stated, "It's very odd. In the 25 years I've worked here I don't remember an incident like this happening."
Taylor said the whole incident stressed the importance of paying attention to surroundings and people closeby to be able to identify suspects in a crime. Taylor added she experienced first hand how important victims advocates are.
Deni Gibbs, the Victim Services Coordinator for the Horry County Sheriff's office and the J Reuben Long Detention Center said advocates help keep victims informed of the judicial process. Gibbs stated, "Victims have a right to know the whole process of the judicial system. They have the right to know every hearing from the time the person is arrested to bond hearings to a trial."
Gibbs added that advocates help make sure victims do not fall prey to crimes again. Gibbs said, "They're supposed to know before the person is released from the detention center so they have advance notice to protect themselves."
Horry County Solicitor Greg Hembree said he sees the need for more victims advocates and said he is asking for state funding to help with the shortage.