Police still investigating Fox 35 incident

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We could know later today if WOFL-Fox 35 news director Bob Clinkingbeard will face any charges for bumping sportscaster Thomas Forester during a heated dispute at the station. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Lake Mary police expect to wrap up their investigation today into the complaint by Forester, who called police to the station after the incident on Thursday.

So, what happened? NewsBlues.com reported that "Clinkingbeard, 47, became so enraged with Forester’s reluctance to carry out an assignment, he confronted him in a hallway and shoved Forester against a wall. Angry and shaken, Forester retreated to his desk and telephoned Lake Mary police. When they arrived, he insisted on filing assault and battery charges against his boss."

The Web site said said Forester was on five days paid leave after the incident. He has six months remaining on his contract with Fox 35, but NewsBlues said he has told friends he wants out of the station.

Police have now viewed video of the incident from Fox 35 security cameras, the Sentinel reporterd. However, Clinkingbeard is not cooperating with the investigation, according to Lake Mary Det. Matt Schaefer .

Here’s the text of the initial police report about the incident:

"Upon my arrival, I made contact with the victim Tom Forester. Mr. Forester stated that during a meeting with news director Bob Clinkingbeard, he attempted to leave the room they were in and go into another room. Forester stated that at that time, Clinkingbeard blocked the door and that Forester could not enter the other room and bumped into him in the process. Forester felt that this was done on purpose and wanted to press charges.

"While Forester was completing a statement, I made contact with Fox 35 legal advisor Carolyn Forrest. Ms. Forrest was advised of the situation and she said she would consult their attorneys and let me know if I would be able to speak to Clinkingbeard. Ms. Forrest was also told that there might be video of the incident and she she would check on that was well. After obtained a statement and and prosecution affidavit from Forester and concluding with him, I made contact with Ms. Forrest again. Ms. Forrest stated that due to the possible civil implications that may occur, she declined to let me speak to and/or get a statement from Clinkingbeard and declined to let me see the video. The report is being forwarded to CID for follow-up."

Wow. And it’s not even sweeps!

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Roger Simmons has been blogging about Orlando television since 2001. You can email him at roger@rogersimmons.com