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Illinois man arrested after grabbing reporter while she was live on air, police say

"You violated my personal space," the reporter, Gaynor Hall, wrote in a Facebook post. "You grabbed me. You scared me. Was it worth it?"

An Illinois man who police said grabbed a television reporter while she was live on the air Saturday night is facing battery and disorderly conduct charges.

Eric Farina
Eric Farina.Shorewood Police Department

Eric Farina, 20, grabbed a WGN reporter around her shoulders and "uttered a profane and disturbing statement" during a 10 p.m. broadcast, Shorewood police said in a statement. Gaynor Hall was reporting on wind damage in Shorewood, about 45 miles south of Chicago, when the incident occurred.

Farina left after grabbing the reporter and shouting obscenities, police said.

Detectives found Farina at his home in Minooka Sunday morning, where he made a "full confession" and was arrested, the statement said.

Farina was released on a $2,500 recognizance bond, police said. He could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. Farina is next due in court July 24.

Hall addressed the man in a Facebook post early Sunday, before he was arrested.

"A brief note to the young man who jumped in my liveshot tonight: It was not funny," she wrote. "You violated my personal space. You grabbed me. You scared me. Was it worth it?"

Hall had uploaded a screen grab of the man from her live shot and asked the public's help in identifying him before an arrest was made.

Hall's colleague, Jackie Bange, also posted the screen grab on Facebook.

"To the good people of Shorewood: do you recognize this guy??" Bange asked Saturday. "He just assaulted our reporter during her 10pm live shot. He’s an absolute idiot and should be charged with assault!"

Hall updated her post after Farina was arrested.

"Thanks to your help, he was identified and arrested," Hall wrote. "Thank you all so much for your kind words and support. I am ok and I appreciate you more than you know."

WGN declined to comment about the incident Wednesday other than to say: "We want to thank Shorewood police for their quick work in this matter."