On April 27 Breitbart News reported that a business owner with a shotgun saved Balitmore Sun reporter Justin Fenton after he was attacked by a rioter on Balitmore’s streets.
Fenton was near a “cash checking place [that] had been broken into” and he was being protected by “a group of self-identifying Crips gang members.” But he turned away from them to take a photo, at which point he was approached by “a man with a hoodie pulled tight over his face.”
Fenton said the man was holding a container of mace.
The man in the hoodie allegedly demanded Fenton’s phone and shot him “in the head” with mace. Fenton took off running and made it to a store where he was protected by a business owner who was guarding his property with a shotgun.
The NRA retweeted the report and on April 28 one of Fenton’s Twitter followers asked him if the report was true.
No. A group of gang members surrounded me, saying they were protecting me. The guy with shotgun was protecting his business.
Later, on April 28, Breitbart News reached out to Fenton for clarification. In doing so we reminded him of his exact words on CNN on April 27, which were, “I retreated back to my safe spot where I was with a store owner who had a shotgun protecting his property.”
We asked him to clarify the time frame regarding when he was with gang members–was that a different time than when he was attacked and sprayed with mace? We also asked if he could confirm that the reason he referred to the store as his “safe space” is because the owner was protecting it with a shotgun.
This is a misunderstanding. What I meant is that my safe space was on a sidewalk where the gang members were protecting me – I know I mentioned that on CNN – and in that vicinity was the owner with the gun. But he was literally locked inside his business – I was on the outside and he was not protecting anything but his property.
Fenton did not mention that the man with the shotgun was “locked inside his business” when he told CNN, “I was with a store owner who had a shotgun protecting his property.”
So we reached out to Fenton one more time to be sure we had everything correct.
We asked him two questions:
1. Why did you mention fleeing to the vicinity of the store owner with a shotgun if the shotgun played no role in your safety?2. And why, on CNN, did you not say the man with the gun was behind closed doors?
And I said the Crip guys were protecting me prior to that. What I said on CNN was imprecise but not different, and I’ll chalk it up to [being] thoroughly freaked out and harried after all that I saw and while doing a live TV interview.