PHOENIX - A man was arrested for assaulting a Valley reporter and damaging his camera during an immigration raid Thursday.
Julio Cisneros, a Telemundo reporter, set up his camera on a sidewalk in front of Autofit, the Phoenix company raided by Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputies.
While he was shooting video, he noticed the business owner Mahmoud Emadi-Dehagi approaching him.
Emadi-Dehagi was quick to start demanding Cisneros stop recording and delete the video.
“Delete what you record from me,” he told Cisneros, as he slapped the camera. “Delete it. Delete it. You need to delete it."
Cisneros said, "OK," but continued recording.
Emadi-Dehagi is seen once again hitting the camera and that's when Cisneros said a piece of the camera came off.
Cisneros is glad an average citizen, who had just exited a public bus, saw what was happening and started defending him.
“You can't do that,” said the Good Samaritan.
“It's my property,” Emadi-Dehagi said.
“This is not your property. This is a sidewalk,” the Good Samaritan said. “You can't do that though man."
Cisneros questions whether the heated immigration debate in Arizona may be contributing to such anger.
He admits this is not the first time he has been harassed while out in public covering a story.
"When I do my standup, of course I have to do it in Spanish. That's my first language,” Cisneros said. “And I hear people, you know, when they walk by they say go back to your country. This is my country."
Emadi-Dehagi was charged with a felony charge of criminal damage.
Arpaio was shocked at the business owner's reaction to media being present at the operation, a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office release said.
It was entirely inappropriate for him to attack the camera man, the release added.
“The media has a tough job to do and no one should physically attack them for doing their job," Arpaio said.
MCSO said four suspects were identified as fraudulently using fake Social Security numbers, including one that belonged to a deceased person.
Six people were arrested at the business and are believed to be in the country illegally, according to MCSO.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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