Daily Archives: July 2, 2010

Charge dismissed

George Franco, WAGA

It took a week or three, but WAGA has released a portion of the video showing the encounter that got reporter George Franco arrested in Pensacola June 7.  In so doing, WAGA reports that the misdemeanor battery charge against Franco was dismissed.

From WAGA’s web site“Franco was working on a story about the use of heavy machinery to clean up oil on the beaches. BP planned to offer a demonstration and a county official invited FOX 5 to come along. On the way to the story, our FOX 5 crew spotted workers in a public parking lot, where they stopped to videotape their efforts.

Franco says a BP contractor managing part of the clean up ordered him to leave the parking lot. Franco refused, and he says that’s when things got tense.”

BP contractor Joshua James Mitchell told Escambia County sheriff’s deputies that Franco “grabbed his arm and spun him around.”  The video released by WAGA shows Franco touching Mitchell’s elbow, and Mitchell spinning angrily (and voluntarily) to confront Franco.  Photographer Chris Rosenthal rolled on the encounter.

WAGA’s web site says a prosecutor dismissed the charge because “there was minimal contact with the victim and there were no injuries.”