Reporter on Baylor official accused of assault: 'He had rage in his eyes'

Reporter Assaulted

A reporter for a Keller newspaper says a top administrator with the athletics department at Baylor University "had rage in his eyes" when he grabbed him by the throat after a game earlier this month.

Heath Nielsen, 47, faces one count of assault with bodily injury after the Baylor Police Department say he attacked reporter James McBride for taking a "selfie" with a Baylor player.

The arrest affidavit indicates Nielsen said the reporter "was abusing his privileges" by taking a photo with the player.

On Tuesday, McBride granted his first interview after the incident with WFAA.

“I think he should lose his job over this hands down and I also want a handwritten apology from him,” McBride said.

McBride filed video reports from the sideline for the small newspaper Texas Blaze News before the TCU/Baylor game on November 5th in Waco.

McBride says immediately after snapping the photo with a player he says he knew personally, he felt what he described as a "tomahawk chop" across his arms to try and dislodge the phone from his possession.

"When that didn't work he went for my neck," McBride said.

Through his attorney on Tuesday, Nielsen denied the allegations.

"Mr. Nielsen maintains that he intervened to stop the interview, but he did not grab the complainant’s throat,” attorney Michelle Tuegel  said in a prepared statement.

According to McBride, Baylor police were aided in their investigation by the presence of video evidence taken from cameras positioned in McLane Stadium.  Baylor PD referred all inquiries to the communications department for the university, which forwarded the statement below from the athletic department:

"Baylor Athletics was made aware of the post-game incident involving Heath Nielsen shortly after the game and took immediate action to address it with him through the University's human resources process.  We will continue to handle this personnel matter internally."

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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