A Clay County, WV, man has been arrested for allegedly beating WCHS reporter Bob Aaron while Aaron was shooting a story about possible animal abuse.
According to the Charleston-Huntington ABC affiliate, Howard Lilly is being held on $25,000 bond after being charged with destruction of property, grand larceny and malicious wounding for allegedly grabbing Aaron’s tripod and hitting him with it.
“He came up off of his property onto the roadway,” Aaron said. “And before we could have much of a conversation further about it he came at me grabbed the tripod and starting hitting me with it. He broke the camera lens and gave me a couple of pretty good shots before we left.”
Bob sustained injuries to his leg and finger. His tripod was taken by the attacker and his camera was destroyed. Bob went to a local hospital as a precautionary measure but his injuries did not appear to be serious.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” Aaron said. “I think I might even know this guy maybe from mules or someplace in the past. And he kind of just went crazy there for a minute. And then he wouldn’t return the tripod. He said I’m keeping it and he went back onto his property.”
Bob said he did not get close enough to the horses and mules to see if they were in distress. Eyewitness News will follow up on that part of the story to make sure they are being properly cared for.
“No question I had the right to be there but sometimes people don’t understand that,” Aaron said. “That you do on public property. They don’t want themselves photographed.They don’t want their residence photographed. They don’t want something photographed and that’s the reaction you get out of them.”
The Clay County detachment of the West Virginia State Police is working on the case. Eyewitness News has been told a warrant will be issued and that an arrest is expected.