Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse came to the aid of a local television camera operator when protests turned violent Saturday in downtown Pittsburgh.
Ian Smith, of KDKA-TV, was thrown to the ground and his camera was broken to pieces outside of PPG Paints Arena, the Penguins' home rink, just as Morehouse was leaving the arena near its centerpiece, the Mario Lemieux statue.
According to a report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Morehouse dragged Smith inside the arena to safety before he was transported to Mercy Hospital, just a few blocks from the incident. While en route to the hospital in an ambulance, Smith tweeted a picture of himself, giving a thumbs-up.
"I'm was attacked by protestors downtown by the arena. They stomped and kicked me. I'm bruised and bloody but alive," Smith wrote on Twitter. "My camera was destroyed. Another group of protesters pulled me out and saved my life. Thank you!"
I'm was attacked by protestors downtown by the arena. 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! @KDKA pic.twitter.com/clyANKodth— Ian Smith (@ismithKDKA) May 30, 2020
KDKA began to report on the story for all of its platforms, and the Penguins later confirmed to the Post-Gazette that Morehouse, a Pittsburgh native who has been a part of three Stanley Cup-winning seasons with the Penguins, helped Smith to safety.
"It was a very volatile situation," KDKA reporter Larry Richert told the newspaper. "You have a police car on fire. You've got all this stuff going on. He had the guts to come out and save him from a potentially very tragic ending."
The Lemieux statue was defaced with spray paint during Saturday's protest. "It is right to rebel" and "I can't breathe," plus a hammer and sickle were among the messages and symbols spray-painted in red on different parts of the statue.