WACO, Texas (AP) - A Baylor athletics official has been charged with misdemeanor assault after allegedly grabbing a reporter by the throat after a football game.
Associate Athletic Director Heath Nielsen, 47, was charged with grabbing James McBride, a reporter for the Keller-based Texas Blaze newspaper, as McBride tried to take a picture with a Baylor player on Nov. 5.
Nielsen was charged Nov. 7 and released on $1,000 bond. Nielsen and Baylor officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
An arrest affidavit indicates McBride said Nielsen told him he was violating his media privileges. The affidavit says McBride had visible scratches and complained of pain around his throat. McBride also told police it hurt to swallow.
Nielsen's Attorney, Michelle Simpson Tuegel released a statement::
"In response to the recent accusations made against Heath Nielsen, who has been an employee at Baylor University for over 16 years, we would provide the following information on his behalf:
Shortly after the Baylor v. TCU football game on November 5th, Heath intervened when he noticed a man attempting to do an unauthorized interview of a student-athlete on the field. The one-sided version of events released by the complainant are not true or accurate. Mr. Nielsen maintains that he intervened to stop the interview, but he did not grab the complainant’s throat. Welook forward to vigorously defending Mr. Nielsen and presenting the facts involved in this situation."