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News & Insight

Photographer Threatened & Nearly Run Over By Angry Driver

By Kishore Sawh on July 10th 2016

When you’re shooting in public have you ever been threatened?There are moments in photography when we stretch ourselves out of our comfort zones, and then there are occasions you are just ripped straight from it. Anyone who has ever shot on public soil in a city will know all too well the altercations that can quickly arise with law enforcement and the public themselves. But those scenarios are more common, not typically threatening, and generally manageable. It’s not always the case.

*Warning: Video is littered with profanity.*

The video you’re about to see shows a scenario that is one such occasion; this one is downright frightening, and sees a photographer and team verbally and physically threatened in public.

Alex Stone is a California-based photographer who was doing an automotive shoot in Ramona, California, when a belligerent and violent man in a large SUV (and I say ‘man’ in the loosest of fashions) accused Stone and team of being on his personal driveway even though they were on a public road.


Upon informing the aggressor that it was, in fact, a public road and they would only be a short time longer, the man became increasingly irate, and verbally abusive. It took just seconds for his verbal threats to escalate to physical ones, culminating in numerous close calls where the man in the SUV charged Stone with his vehicle. As if that wasn’t enough the driver hits Stone’s phone away and breaks it without remorse. As Stone and crew leave, they call the Police, who suggest they’ll talk to him. As I said – frightening. One hopes he’s actually prosecuted.

[REWIND: A Great Example Of How To Handle Police As A Photographer]

Perhaps as shocking and disturbing as this man’s actions were, they were outshone by Stone’s relatively calm and polite responses throughout the scenario, which were no doubt key in disarming the situation, and helped to assure the safety of Stone and his consorts. He shared the video to his Facebook page, where many are speaking out.

When we’re living through a time peppered with civil unrest and personal firearms at the center of many of the debates, it’s even more necessary to approach occasions like this calmly, and with tact. Stone should be commended.

Have you ever had any such experience?

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Deqoun James

    This is amazing. No way I would have remained that calm. He would have gotten his ass beat the moment he got out of his truck.

    I certainly do hope that jerk get charged with every charge in the book.

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  2. Thomas Meyer

    Glad his license plate was recorded. I hope charges are pressed and this man is either put in jail, has his driving privileges revoked or both. At the very least, he’s now a victim of viral video and he can experience the joys of harassment and threats.

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  3. John Holm

    The guy in the truck was clearly wrong and should be punished, and Stone should be commended for keeping his cool. BUT, I do question why Stone was blocking a public road without any visible traffic controls. Most likely, he should have gotten some type of permit or approval from whatever DOT is in control of that road as well.

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    • Deqoun James

      That road is mostly a dead road. There really isn’t a lot of traffic beyond residents.

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  4. Peter Moeller

    Great to see the driver got arrested over this.

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  5. Peter Moeller

    In Australia, for road rage there is immediate loss of license, and that means that person will walk for a long time, considering there is video evidence. He anyway shouldn’t drive a vehicle, obviously lacks the necessary self control.

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  6. Clarissa Olivier

    Scary stuff.

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  7. Elaine Hutchings

    It is very sad when people don’t have self control, but it happens. Then those of us with more maturity can maybe help

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  8. Jacob Hollenbeck

    American terrorists-alive and well.

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  9. Keith Gabriel

    He’s been charged with suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, battery and vandalism

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  10. Daniel Thullen

    Lots of comments about confronting this idiot. How about packing up the equipment, calling the local law enforcement, and letting them take care of the situation? Stone had a clear license plate on the video. They obviously were on a public road. At minimum this is a case of assault. If they truly were on private property (which doesn’t look like it is the case), the smart thing for the douche in the SUV would also have been to call and let the local law enforcement. We as photographers need to abide by other’s property rights.

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  11. robert s

    id tell him piss off and immediately call the 5.0 and if he made any aggressive moves towards me, hed get his assed kicked. the minimum is a light stand upside his head.

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    • Jacob Hollenbeck

      I’d have given him worse. At the very least, I always pack a knife.

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    • Peter Moeller

      How are you better than this driver? Probably watch too many movies? A situation like that isn’t a competition who is the greatest asshole.

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  12. Robert McBride

    Guy who cursed at him while he was driving should have been dialing the police instead and hustling to pack up. Guy had a major case of road rage and actually sounded drunk, not something to be playing with. Still trying to figure out how a road could be his driveway.

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  13. Tim Broadbent

    Yes it is sad that this wonderful world we share for such a short time has to go this way , I’m lost really for words but feel sorry for this guy !

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  14. Sarah Murray

    This is unbelievable. Sure, maybe they could have gotten out of there a little faster but the guy was erratic and ridiculously aggressive. I don’t get it… What is wrong with people?

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  15. Arnold Ziffel

    You’re giving rednecks everywhere a bad name. The guy was simply an a-hole and you apparently were on his property.

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  16. Joel Germain

    Wow…. ‘Murica power…

    Just kick him in the nuts and destroy his tire. Those kind of moron dont belong on the road.

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  17. Hagos Rush

    They needed to hurry up and get out of there. They took their sweet time which only pissed of the moron even more. While yes the guy was a douche, IF SOMEONE IS TRYING TO RUN YOU OVER get the hell out of there. While I blame the guy for being who he is #merica the photographer was also at fault. Kudos for remaining calm – but hurry the hell up.

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