Last Friday, Milwaukee television reporter A.J. Bayatpour was arrested on battery charges after punching out a reporter from a rival Milwaukee station at a Brewers game. According to the police report, Bayatpour, who works for FOX affiliate WITI Channel 6, “caused significant injury” to Ben Jordan, who works for NBC affiliate WTMJ Channel 4, after the two men got into an argument.
This argument was supposedly over Bayatpour “ridiculing” Jordan’s fiancée Madeline Anderson, who also works with Bayatpour at WITI. Bayatpour was charged with felony battery Wednesday in Milwaukee County Court, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel obtained the criminal complaint, which sheds some light on how the fight started. It involved a picture of a bulldog (the report does not say which sort of bulldog):
The couple noticed Bayatpour at the game and invited him to sit with them in extra seats. Around the sixth inning, Anderson showed Bayatpour a photo of a bulldog on her phone and said it represented how she felt.
He said he thought Anderson looked disinterested. Anderson perceived the comment that she appeared disinterested as somehow pertaining to her on-air appearance as a TV reporter. Jordan asked Bayatpour to step away, but he said he was still watching the game.
After the game ended, Jordan asked Bayatpour to apologize. He did, though he also reiterated his comments about Anderson seeming “disinterested.” The conversation then escalated after Bayatpour said Jordan threatened him, which led to Bayatpour “instinctively” reacting and punching Jordan three times. Cops found Jordan with a broken nose, a chipped tooth, and orbital bone fractures.
Bayatpour’s version of events is similar, albeit with a Jay Cutler cameo:
After his arrest, Bayatpour confirmed Anderson’s account that she had shown a picture of a bulldog on her phone during the game, and said it represented how she felt. He said he told her the picture seemed to suggest disinterest instead of anger and teasingly told Anderson she should have shown him a picture of Jay Cutler, the former Chicago Bears quarterback.
Bayatpour’s attorney Julius Kim said his client acted in self-defense:
“The law does not require people to be attacked to be able to defend themselves,” Kim said, but added he wasn’t prepared to publicly discuss other details of the incident as he gathers evidence.
“Once those facts come out, they are going to show that this was not necessarily a one-sided affair. There is plenty of blame to go around and there were lots of bad decisions made by lots of people here.”