SQUAMISH, B.C. – Another television reporter doing a live report received a jarring distraction after a man kissed her on the cheek.
CBC reporter Megan Batchelor was covering a music festival in Squamish, B.C., north of Vancouver, on Friday when the incident happened.
Batchelor, who worked for Global until May 2015, was doing a live hit for the network’s 6 p.m newscast when video the network aired shows the man came up from behind, kissed her on the cheek and took a selfie.
The CBC quotes Batchelor as saying she was “rattled” by the encounter and felt like the unidentified man was trying to interfere with her ability to do her job.
The broadcaster is reporting that Batchelor has made a complaint to the RCMP and the network is asking anyone who knows the identity of the man to contact police.
The CBC said in an emailed statement on Sunday that Friday’s incident is another example of a disturbing trend and the network will do everything it can to ensure its journalists are safe when reporting from the field.
The RCMP says it has taken statements from Batchelor, a CBC cameraman and a witness, but the head of the Squamish RCMP detachment said tips from the public would be key in helping police to identify the man.
“We really have no other recourse than to seek the assistance of the public,” said Staff Sgt. Brian Cumming.
It’s unclear what charges might be laid in the case — Cumming declined to speculate, noting that in British Columbia unlike other provinces, police must refer the case to the Crown and prosecutors decide on laying charges.
There have been a number of incidents recently where female television reporters have been the subject of abuse from people passing by.
An employee with the Ontario electrical utility Hydro One was let go earlier this year after he shouted crude remarks to a Toronto reporter who works for Citytv.