Angry mourners attack Sacramento news crew

12:09 AM, Feb 21, 2011   |    comments
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A sacramento TV reporter is attacked by a group of mourners angry about him being at their impromptu memorial service
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  • Earlier: Argument leads to murder outside Natomas IHOP
  • SACRAMENTO, CA - A group of mourners, apparently upset when a news crew tried to get too close to an impromptu memorial service, beat up the reporter and photographer from a Sacramento television station Sunday.

    The attack happened outside the Natomas IHOP restaurant near the intersection of Del Paso Road and Interstate 5.

    Police said two groups of young men got into a dispute Sunday inside the restaurant and took the fight outside.  In the parking lot someone pulled a gun, and the fight ended with a 27-year-old man dead.

    Friends of the victim had assembled for an impromptu memorial Sunday afternoon when a crew from the Sacramento Fox affiliate got into an argument with the mourners.

    A group of those mourners jumped the two-person crew, reporter John Lobertini and photographer Rebecca Little, punching Lobertini in the face and dragging Little to the ground and kicking her in the face.

    A News10 journalist was on the scene when the attack happened and recorded the entire incident on video. SEE THE RAW VIDEO OF THE MOURNERS ATTACKING THE TV CREW

    Lobertini and Little suffered bruises and were shaken up, but they were not seriously injured.

    On her Facebook page, Little wrote a brief post: "Thank you all for your prayers and concerns. Today was terrible and lessons were learned. I'm doing ok."

    Meghan Saffold, a mourner who was at the scene of the scuffle but did not participate, said she did not agree with what happened, but said emotions were already running high when the crew approached.

    "It's just a respect issue. A lot of people, they're not in the right state of mind when going through something like this. So you know, all I say is, when someone asks you something, that you should respect it and respect their wishes," said Saffold. 

    Several in the crowd threatened other reporters, including a photographer for the Sacramento Bee.

    It was not immediately clear whether Little or Lobertini were considering filing charges in the attack.

    The men involved in the homicide are described as two men in their 20s.

    News10/KXTV

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