When KDKA-AM cameraman Ian Smith was covering a demonstration that had turned violent outside the Penguins’ PPG Paints Arena on May 30, he was set upon by thugs, thrown to the ground, and beaten. His camera was destroyed, and before he could be seriously injured or even killed, he was pulled to safety, although at the time he didn’t realize exactly who had rescued him.
“[I] was attacked by protesters downtown by the arena,” Smith tweeted that night from an ambulance. “They stomped and kicked me. I’m bruised and bloody but alive. My camera was destroyed. Another group of protesters pulled me out and saved my life. Thank you!”
Another KDKA employee, Paul Martino had been with Smith when the attack occurred, and he mentioned to KDKA host Larry Richert that Pittsburg Penguins President David Morehouse had rescued Smith, reported The Blaze.
Speaking to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Richert said, “I texted Paul Martino asking if he was all right, and he told me it was David Morehouse that helped save those guys.”
He continued, “Paul said they were saying—and Ian reiterated—this group (of assailants) was saying to kill him, meaning Ian. He was taking hits to the head. They destroyed his camera. He was traumatized by it, no doubt. David Morehouse was able to intervene. In that moment with a burning police car and people beating someone up, that’s a pretty brave thing to do.”
Richer, who knows Morehouse, texted the Penguins chief, who is a Beechview native. Richter recalled to the Tribune-Review, “I know he’s going to be humble, and he’s going to say ‘I’m not a hero.’ I texted to him, ‘That’s the Beechview guy in you that reacted.’ He texted back to say he believed any of his friends would have done the same thing in the same situation, his neighborhood (friends) he grew up with.”
“To me, that’s a pretty heroic act,” Richter said of Morehouse’s’ intervention. “It was a very volatile situation. … He had the guts to come out and save [Smith] from a potentially very tragic ending,” Richter told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
On Monday the Pittsburgh Penguins released a statement regarding the protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) June 2, 2020
“This has been a horrible time for our country and our city. We all are appalled by senseless violence and share the outrage that racism and social injustice continue to permeate our society. The killing of Mr. Floyd impacted us all. Moving forward from this moment, and after the violence that took place in our own city on Saturday, we must work together to ensure that we always treat each other with dignity, respect, and a spirit of understanding. Let’s all be better together. Starting right now.”