Two Trump supporters verbally harass Telemundo reporter Maria Paula Ochoa outside a ballot counting center in Arizona
Most years the Presidential election is over on November 3, or possibly the following day, if the margins are really close. However, because 2020 is the year that just won’t quit, Election Day has turned into Election Week — finally ending on Saturday with the election of Joe Biden. In the lead up to Biden’s win, tensions were high across the country as the week progressed, especially in the swing states where ballots were still being counted. Ballot tabulation centers became war zones, as angry Trumpers attempted to stop the counting of absentee ballots, and on Friday, Telemundo reporter Maria Paula Ochoa could barely hold her ground as two maskless Trump supporters screamed at her while she was trying to report the news.
Ochoa, wearing a protective face covering as recommended by the CDC, was reporting outside the ballot tabulation center in Maricopa County, Arizona, when she was cornered by Trump supporters without face masks on who refused to keep the recommended six-feet distance as she attempted to report live from the scene.
A security guard got in between one of the screaming protestors and Ochoa, as he was getting closer to her face. Not only was the security guard protecting Ochoa from a possible physical attack, but from potentially becoming infected with a deadly virus as well. However, the Trump supporters eventually starting yelling “assault,” accusing the security guard of attacking them.
Local ABC15 Arizona reporter Zach Crenshaw was there to catch the insanity on camera, sharing photos and videos on Twitter.
“Night three outside the Maricopa Co tabulation center: It’s more tense tonight,” Crenshaw wrote. “These two men were screaming at a Telemundo reporter while she reported live. When a security agent prevented ‘red shirt’ from getting inches from her face, both started yelling ‘assault.'”
Other onlookers shared photos as well, including photojournalist Caitlyn O’Hara. “Photo of reporter @ochoamariapaula being harassed by a pro-Trump protester who was screaming at her while not wearing a mask,” O’Hara captioned the photo.
The incident even made it on-air on Telemundo.
The screaming men were yelling about the election, claiming the same mumbo jumbo about voter fraud that Donald Trump has been, but weirdly, the Trumpers also screamed “this p****’s assaulting people. This p****’s assaulting people.”
Ochoa later tweeted about the incident, explaining that Telemundo is a non-biased network who reports the news accurately, refusing to take sides.
She also revealed later that her coworkers were harassed by the same Trump supporter, sharing a video of the encounter. “This should not be happening,” she pointed out.
On Saturday, the longest election ever was finally called when Joe Biden was declared the 46th President of the United States with Kamala Harris making history as not only the first woman Vice President, but also the first African American and Indian American VP. However, it might not be completely over for some time, as Trump has made it clear that he refuses to concede. Hopefully, the country doesn’t see continued violence like this in the interim. No person or reporter should be forced to endure this kind of harassment in order to do her job.