Posted In: South Central
THe crazy part here is that this is coming after last weeks attack at a newsroom in the Washingon DC area Suburbs.
A Bryan man who spent nearly three months on the run is due in federal court Friday after he allegedly threatened to split open the skull of a local TV station manager and burn the building to the ground.
Jason Eric Bewley, who was arrested in North Carolina, is facing two charges of transmitting threats through interstate communications after prosecutors say he harassed general manager Mike Wright of KBTX, a CBS affiliate in Bryan.
“It’s too bad you’re a dead man walking,” Bewley wrote in an email last year, according to federal court filings. “I will split your skull open Mike Wright KBTX.”
A month later, Bewley allegedly called the station with an obscenity-laced tirade, threatening to burn the building to the ground.
“I’ll come down there and rip your eyes out,” he told the staffer on the other end of the phone, according to court documents.
After Bewley was indicted in Texas in April, Judge Lynn Hughes put out a warrant for his arrest — and authorities in North Carolina picked him up on June 22 near Charlotte. In a court appearance there, he was assigned an attorney and slated for extradition to Houston. Now he’s due in federal court here on Friday.
The case is unfolding amid increased awareness of harassment of journalists in the wake of a mass shooting at the Capital Gazette in Maryland. A gunman with a grudge against the paper allegedly killed four journalists and a salesperson in the Annapolis newsroom after repeatedly targeting the paper’s staff with obscene Twitter tirades.
In the Texas case, it’s not clear what motivated the abusive behavior at the Bryan TV station — but 47-year-old Bewley has a history of skirmishes with local news outlets. Back in 2008, he was arrested for allegedly threatening employees and throwing a cinder block through the station’s back door, according to local news reports at the time.
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