Since 2005, we here at The Lenslinger Institute have issued countless Schmuck Alerts: snide little jabs at ass-hats dumb enough to attacking a functioning fancycam. This one, however, is PERSONAL.
How could it NOT be, when founding member Chris Weaver is the victim of what can only be termed a felonious assault? Sadly, that's exactly what happened this afternoon when he and reporter Katie Nordeen found themselves on the side of the road in Davidson County. They were there following up on repeated claims of animal abuse; seems a local equine group noticed two horses they deemed malnourished. When a few phone calls didn't stir up much, Katie and Chris drove out to the address in question to have a look. Weaver was standing in the right of way of a public road, shooting video of the horses when a frothing crackpot straight out of a Stephen King novel rolled up and rolled up HARD.
"I knew when he jumped out of the car I may be in trouble....all I could think is...."Uh, Oh...this is gonna hurt."
Ya know, I though I'd met every type of unhappy customer there is. I don't remember ANY as unhinged as one Danny Kirkus, Jr. In his world, it's perfectly acceptable to attack a cameraman if you perceive him to be your land, to go after him with a stick, to rant, rave and threaten in a manner that makes those Mel Gibson phone rants sound like the sweetest of all booty calls. Really, Mr. Kirkus - what universe do you live in where acting like a cartoon character is permitted? Did you think such behavior would all the queries about your suspiciously skinny horses? Are you as inbred as you look? Or did the greasy mullet and demented spittle come with the hat? Either way, you've got a lot more problems on your unwashed plate than mere neglected equine. You Sir, are facing two (2) Felonies. That's big city talk for 'little gray room'. I certainly hope you get to explore every crack and crevice of one real soon, as not only are you an incoherent menace, but you appear to be a complete waste of flesh as well. Extinction: look into it.
"He swung a few times hitting me on the lower right leg calf muscle and then on my camera lens as he swung the stick higher."
Unlike the near-murderous Mr. Kirkus, Chris Weaver was the essence of restraint. When the room went stupid, he kept his cool and followed the most basic tenant of Cameramanthropology: "Always Be Rollin'". Not only did Weave keep the red light glowing, he kept his own temper in check. That's no easy feat when a camouflaged madman is attempting to go agricultural on yer ass. But then Weaver's a pro. He knew anything more than self-defense would only agitate the jackal. He knew "the law" was on his side (and hopefully, on the way). Most of all, he knew the camera was recording EVERYTHING and rather than have to explain any lopsided drop-kicks, he'd be better off forgoing the heroics. That said, it is a pure act of providence that Kirkus backed off when he did, for it is the nature of grown men and detached tripod handles to want to strike back. I wasn't there of course, but I can tell you with great confidence that the Chris Weaver I know wasn't going to take another lick of that stick.
"He left a mark on my leg...It's a nice bruise...but otherwise I'm fine."
That's a rather charitable, Chris. Others I know would have limped away, collapsed into a ditch and demanded at least few days off to grapple with the trauma of it all. Remind me to keep tabs on Kirkus' case as we make him the poster child for homicidal hillbillies the world over. Schmuck!