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Trump truck guy charged with assaulting WCCO reporter in Duluth

Duane Waldriff says he was 'defending himself' from Dymanh Chhoun's... cellphone.

Duane Waldriff says he was 'defending himself' from Dymanh Chhoun's... cellphone. WCCO

Of all the people to assault, a photojournalist who's recording you seems like the least easy one to get away with your crime.

Duane Waldriff, 70, faces two criminal misdemeanors for taking a swing at Dymanh Chhoun, a WCCO cameraman who was trying to film Waldriff's interaction with anti-Trump protesters who lined the road on the way to the Duluth airport for Trump's September 30 rally.

Waldriff, who lives in Lamberton (nearly five hours from Duluth), said he got out of his vehicle to confront people because they were "pounding on his truck," per the Star Tribune. He told the Strib Chhoun was "aggressively coming after me, and I defended myself," while stating flatly, "[Chhoun] wasn't assaulted."

The Duluth City Attorney's Office disagrees. So does Chhoun's video of the incident, which captures Waldriff saying: "You want to be peaceful? Be peaceful. You want to be violent, come to me and I'll"--stopping to punch the phone out of Chhoun's hand. 

 

The act earned Waldriff one count of misdemeanor assault and one of disorderly conduct.

Chhoun, a University of Minnesota graduate, has been with the station for six years, and tells the Strib he's used to verbal altercations, not physical ones, in his experience covering protests. 

"I was scared," Chhoun says. 

Waldriff has a minimal criminal history in Minnesota, with one conviction for an uncased firearm in a motor vehicle in 2019. Misdemeanors are punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.