TV crew injured in Wednesday night riots

Among the people injured during Thursday night's riots in uptown Charlotte were two colleagues of NBC Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Among the people injured during Wednesday night's riots in uptown Charlotte were two colleagues of NBC Charlotte.

Video posted on YouTube shows reporter Mary Sturgill, wearing a blue dress, and photographer Eric Alkire just before they were attacked.

The crews was in Charlotte from Columbia, S.C. to help NBC Charlotte cover the chaos.

"Right now I feel like a Mack truck hit me," Sturgill said.

Sturgill says the protests started peacefully, but the mood changed after police tried to move the mob.

"That's when we started seeing protestors who were throwing things," said Alkire.  "We did almost get hit by a foot and a half long stick."

The team was walking back to their truck when Alkire stopped to record video of a small fire on the street.

"So when I start shooting the fire in the trash can, a protestor comes up on my right and pulls the cable," Alkire explained.

The cable connected his camera to his live transmitter.  In an instant, the attackers pounced.

"The person in the red hoodie flew through the air and punched Eric in the side of the head and Eric went down," Sturgill said.

"That's the last thing I remember for a while," Alkire said.

Sturgill tried to protect her unconscious partner, but got kicked in the back.  The two were rescued by other protesters and nearby police officers.

Looking back, Sturgill says, there were two distinct groups of people in Charlotte's streets.  There were the "protestors" who were there to make a point.  And then there were people who seemed bent on violence and destruction.

"Those people, whether you call them agitators, aggressors or rioters, those people I felt like were just there to cause chaos and to cause problems. And they took the voice away from the protestors in doing that," Sturgill said.

Sturgill and Alkire were taken to a nearby hospital where they were treated and released.  They are both back in Columbia recovering.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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