Melissa Lawrence (pictured center) has been charged with two counts of felony assault, after she was reportedly caught on video assaulting an ABC6 Providence, Rhode Island, news crew when they attempted to interview her about her teen daughter’s alleged shooter turning himself in to police, reports ABC6.
Lawrence’s daughter, Ny’asia, was shot at a kindergartner’s graduation party last Sunday. Police were reportedly still searching for the main suspect and two other accomplices, when news broke that the alleged gunman had actually turned himself in to authorities on Monday.
The ABC6 crew was dispatched to Lawrence’s home to get her reaction to the news, but instead of declining to speak with the assigned news reporter, Abbey Niezgoda, Lawrence reportedly flew in to a blind rage and suddenly hurled a rock at the cameraman, Marc Jackson. The rock missed Jackson’s head but grazed his elbow.
When the crew began to retreat from the scene, Lawrence reportedly came back at them wielding a baseball bat and spewing curse words. The agitated 35-year-old woman’s last line of defense were her two full-grown pit bull dogs, which she reportedly sicced on the news crew.
Footage of the entire incident shows Lawrence’s violent antics and the dogs are seen chasing Niezgoda in to the street. The terrified reporter is then seen running in to a yard a few houses down as the dogs nip at her.
Niezgoda was treated for a dog bite on her forearm at a medical facility.
Watch the unfortunate incident here:
Providence Animal Control attempted to locate the dogs Tuesday Evening and Wednesday, but were not successful. If Lawrence does not cooperate with a mandatory 10-day quarantine for the dogs, she could face up to 30 days in prison.
Meanwhile, Lawrence was released on personal recognizance Wednesday after not-guilty pleas were entered on her behalf. Meanwhile, Ny’asia has been released from the hospital and is currently recovering from a gunshot wound to her lower back.