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Man arrested for punching KGW journalist in the face

Police arrested the man who chased down and punched a KGW photojournalist at Lents Park on Monday morning.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A KGW journalist was assaulted on Monday morning while shooting video for a story at Lents Park in Southeast Portland. 

The journalist was covering an event hosted by the group PDX Saints Love, which was providing a cooling station and water for anyone who needed help during the heat wave. He was wrapping up the shoot and had his camera by his side when one of the patrons grew agitated and charged at him.

Police later identified the suspect as Joshua David Sears. 

Video captured by a second KGW journalist showed how Sears jumped over a picnic table and chased the victim to his station vehicle. The KGW journalist got punched prior to getting in the station vehicle.

Sears reached the car before the journalist could lock the door. Sears then opened the door and punched the KGW employee in the face, according to the employee. 

Credit: KGW
A screenshot of video captured shows Joshua David Sears jumping over a picnic table to lunge at a KGW journalist.

Organizers told Sears to leave and he walked away.

The journalist suffered several cuts and a bruised eye. He was bandaged by paramedics on the scene but didn’t need to go to the hospital. 

The second KGW journalist was not hurt. She called 911 and told police which direction the suspect headed.

Police found Sears nearby a short time later. An officer told KGW the suspect had been attempting to assault another victim when they arrested him. 

“We are distressed at this unprovoked act of violence against our employees who were working to tell a positive story in the community. Thankfully, community members at the scene stepped in right away to assist and prevent more serious injury,” said Greg Retsinas, KGW News Director.

Sears was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge. 

A police spokesman said Sears’ probation officer issued a “detainer” because this isn’t the first case where he’s accused of randomly targeting people for violence. The spokesman said that means Sears likely won’t be quickly released from jail.

Court records show Sears, 31, has two previous arrests for assault in March. One case didn’t result in criminal charges and the second is still open.

In that case, Sears is accused of approaching a 70-year-old man on East Burnside Street and attacking him with a large stick he picked up from the ground, according to court records. A prosecutor wrote that Sears struck the man in the back of the head and tried to evade arrest when officers arrived.

In May, a judge ordered Sears could be released from jail after his defense attorney said he would receive a bed at Portland shelter that helps people get out of homelessness. 

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