SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco police officers arrested Michael Anthony Jones, 23, in Fremont on July 27. Jones was believed to have taken part in the July 2 robbery and assault of KNTV camera operator, Alan Waples, and reporter Kris Sanchez.
Waples and Sanchez were part of one of the many news crews covering the fatal Pier 14 shooting involving Kathryn Steinle, during the assault. Jones and two other unidentified accomplices pistol-whipped Waples of KNTV and stole camera equipment from the KNTV and KTVU news crews before fleeing the scene in a black BMW sedan that Jones was allegedly driving.
Part of the interaction was caught in a live broadcast as KTVU reporter Cara Liu began reporting and abruptly stopped her on-air report to tend to a situation. Off camera, there was a gun being pointed at a KTVU camera operator, Keith Crock. The suspects made off with two cameras and a tripod. No news crew members were seriously injured.
According to San Francisco Police Department Chief Greg Suhr, officers worked in conjunction with the Oakland Department Special Investigations Unit to identify the black BMW7 Series vehicle that matched the description of getaway vehicle spotted at the Pier 14 robbery. SFPD set up a surveillance video on the vehicle and found Jones with the vehicle at a Motel 6 in Fremont.
According to Suhr, Jones is a known gang member in San Francisco, whose involvement in robberies has led to several charges of robbery, assault, firearms arrests and a felony probation. Jones remains in custody, and has been charged with assault and grand theft for the July 2 incident.
Jones’ accomplices have not been identified, police are still using evidence to investigate their identity, as well as attempting to recover the stolen equipment.
The Pier 14 assault and robbery has been part of an alarming increase of Bay Area news crews being attacked and robbed while reporting stories.