updated 11:39 AM UTC, Dec 19, 2014

Reporter Sucker Punched By Old Man

Reporter Sucker Punched By Old Man

( 4UMF NEWS ) Reporter Sucker Punched By Old Man:

An Atlanta, Ga. television reporter was sucker punched in the face while trying to interview a man about a shady tax preparation business run out of a questionable used car shop.

CBS Atlanta investigative reporter Jeff Chirico was on the trail of 43-year-old Richard Wilder, who stole the tax refunds of at least 32 people, according to a Georgia police report.

An undercover news producer posed as a customer at Wilder’s business, EZ Auto Sales, in Gainesville. While making a sales pitch for a vehicle, Wilder was caught on hidden camera offering his tax preparation services.
“If you got, like, your last pay stub, from that other company and that second company you work for, I can estimate your taxes off of that,” Wilder said on hidden camera.

Wilder is not licensed to sell used cars nor prepare taxes in the state of Georgia.

Chirico and a cameraman sprung onto the scene to catch Wilder red-handed, who fled into his shop while Chirico peppered him with questions. Wilder slams the door shut just as the reporter asks, “Are you taking advantage of people?”

Chirico then attempts to interview Wilder’s father, Donald, who arrives at the used car lot in a red van shortly afterward.

“Your son is facing some pretty serious charges, and you seem to be back in business now in a new place where people don’t know you,” Chirico said.

But, this time, his line of questioning ends with a hard right hook to the face. The punch knocks the reporter and his microphone to the ground.

With Chirico still on the floor, the senior Wilder looms over him and threatens, “Don’t you dare. Now you better get your [things] and get it gone before that man gets here.” It is unclear in the video who the man Wilder is referring to.

“You were trying to get in. No one invited you in there,” Wilder said to justify his punch.

“You were holding the door,” Chirico countered. “You didn’t tell us not to go in there and you just punched me in the face.” The reporter also says he will call the police and have the elder Wilder arrested for assault.

But Wilder dismissed the reporter’s warning, “Yeah, and I’m gonna punch you again.”

As Chirico makes a call on his cell phone, Wilder continues to threaten Chirico, “You gonna be bleeding worse if you don’t get off my property.”

In an earlier encounter, the senior Wilder is shown on video roughly grabbing the reporter’s collar while holding a clenched right fist in front of his face. At the time, Wilder refused to identify himself but released the reporter after Chirico says he will involve the police.

The younger Wilder apparently opened up EZ Auto Sales just weeks after Chircio investigated him for an identical scheme in Braselton, Jackson County under the company name “Braselton Used Auto Sales.” Before that, Wilder had another used car and tax preparation business called “Wilder Used Auto Sales” in Laurenceville, Gwinnett County.

In Braselton, a police report states Wilder took his customers’ tax returns and “deposited into his account, and that he writes the customers a check for amounts that are less than initial return.”

One of Wilder’s victims lost a $8,000 tax refund. Another man had his the extended warranty for a Chevrolet Aveo canceled.

Wilder faces seven counts of theft by deception and one count of racketeering related to missing tax refund.
In Gwinnett County, Wilder was busted for a litany of charges including first degree forgery, altercation of odometer, computer theft.

The reporter was not seriously injured in the attack.

Source

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