Great Britain

TV reporter screams live on air as she is attacked by ‘screwdriver-wielding man making knife threats’ in London

A REPORTER was left screaming in horror after a man allegedly armed with a screwdriver grabbed her live on TV.

Australian network Channel 9's correspondent Sophie Walsh was sending a live report back to Adelaide when she was attacked in Park Lane, London.

Ms Walsh was covering the an upcoming protest in London amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.

Footage of violence during the protests in Paris is seen on the screen as she gives a voice-over before starting to scream.

The attack was not captured on camera.

Its aftermath is seen as the feed cuts back to the shaken journalist as she composes herself following the incident 9.45am on Wednesday.

Clearly distressed, Ms Walsh says: "Sorry, I just ... I just had someone come up and try and, yeah.

"A man just came up and grabbed me. He’s not armed. A man just came up and grabbed me though."

Hero cameraman Jason Conduit stepped in and gave chase to the attacker, pinning him until cops arrived on the scene.

It has since been reported the assailant  was armed with a screwdriver "in his hand or in his pocket", reports 9News.

Met Police confirmed a man has been arrested on suspicion of  making threats to kill, possession of an offensive weapon and possession of class B drugs.

Taking to Twitter, Ms Walsh said: "Thank you for your messages. The man has been arrested for threats to kill and carrying a weapon. I’m shaken but okay.

"Big thanks to my incredible cameraman Jason Conduit who chased him down armed with a light stand and got him arrested."

Senior producer Michelle Taverniti posted a picture of Mr Conduit chasing after the man armed with a large pole.

She said: "'Incredibly brave. We’re all thankful they’re alright."

Cops confirmed they are not treating the disturbing attack as a terrorist incident.

It comes after a string of attacks on journalists as protests and riots have spread worldwide following the death of Ms Floyd.

The US Press Freedom tracker has said incidents involving reporters covering the protests is at a scale "not seen before".
The watchdog has received more than 131 incidents of assault on journalists - including 108 by police.

Meanwhile, the upcoming protest Ms Walsh was covering went ahead in Hyde Park including celebrities such as singer Liam Payne and Star Wars star John Boyega.

Mr Floyd's death after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck has sparked an outpouring of rage worldwide.

It has renewed focus on allegations of systematic racism and police brutality in the US and elsewhere in the West.

Speaking to the crowd, Mr Boyega said: "Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important."

In a statement, the Met Police said: "Police were called at 09:46 on Wednesday, June 3 to Park Lane, W1 reports of an assault and a man making threats.

"Police nearby gave chase and detained the man. No injuries have been reported at this time.

"A man, no further details, was arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill, possession of an offensive weapon and possession of class B drugs.

"He has been taken to a central London police station, where he remains at this time."

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