Confrontation at park between group, Daily Courier editor

GRANTS PASS, Or.- A confrontation between a group in a Grants Pass park and an editor from the Daily Courier is being investigated by police tonight. The group says the editor made physical contact with one of it’s members, but the paper says the editor was attacked first.

The two sides are telling two very different stories.

What we do know is there was some sort of incident that occurred, and it is being investigated.

“You know, I’m like seventy nine years old, I had my oxygen on too, he knew that my physical condition wasn’t that good and he did what he did,” Jim Tholhammer said.

Jim Tholhammer says he was meeting a veterans support group at Reinhart Volunteer Park in Grants Pass this past Sunday when he was assaulted.

He claims Daily Courier city editor Chris Bristol approached the group and started to film them without permission: something he’s allowed to do on public property.

But who initiated the physical contact is disputed.

“He rammed that bicycle up between my legs and put that camera this far from my face,” Tholhammer claimed.

Bristol declined to be interviewed for this story. The paper wrote an article, and even posted video from the incident, but it declined to share the video with us.

The story written by Jeff Duewel claims Bristol was physically touched by Tholhammer first.

The veteran, the paper says, got so close to Bristol’s face that he was spit on.

The Courier’s video shows Tholhammer moving toward Bristol as his phone is recording. It’s soon knocked to the ground.

Police were called but they tell us no arrests or citations have been made.

Josephine County District Attorney Josh Eastman says he can’t comment on the on-going investigation. He told me that once the police completes their investigation, they will refer all of that information to the DA office.

Here is a link to the video posted by the Daily Courier. Viewer discretion is advise due to explicit language.

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Grace Smith
Grace Smith is co-anchor for NBC5 News at 6. The Chicago native is a recent graduate of University of Miami with a Communication Honors degree specializing in Broadcast Journalism. She minored in Creative Writing and focused her senior thesis on social media usage and engagement. During her time at the University of Miami, she anchored multiple award-winning student television programs, covering everything from music festivals to the Super Bowl. Though she loved Miami's beaches, she's thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest where she can experience all four seasons and have a real Christmas tree! When she’s not at work, you can find Grace glued to any television showing live sports (especially if it's the Chicago Bears) or attempting a new recipe as she learns to cook.
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