Shellyne Rodriguez, an artist (with works displayed on her website, pictured), has been arrested after she allegedly threatened a New York Post tabloid reporter with a machete as he tried to interview her at her home. Image courtesy of Shellyne Rodriguez
May 25 (UPI) -- An artist has been arrested after she allegedly threatened a New York Post tabloid reporter with a machete as he tried to interview her at her home.
Reuven Fenton, a reporter for the conservative tabloid, had door-knocked the home of Shellyne Rodriguez on Tuesday unannounced to question her about an exchange she previously had with a pro-life student group at Hunter College in Manhattan, where she worked as an adjunct professor.
"Get the [expletive] away from my door, or I'm gonna chop you up with this machete!" Rodriguez allegedly told Fenton, he reported in the New York Post.
Rodriguez can be seen in video footage published by the tabloid holding the machete to Fenton's neck. As Fenton and New York Post photographer Robert Miller tried to leave her building, Rodriguez allegedly chased them to their cars outside.
She was arrested Thursday by the NYPD and has been charged with harassment and menacing, Hyperallergic reported.
Rodriguez, in comments to the art publication, said she previously received death threats and threats of violence by email, text and voicemail from critics after her confrontation with the pro-life group Students for Life of America, and believed her life was in danger when Fenton approached her home.
"All this has taken a toll on my mental health, robbing me of my sense of safety, and creating reasonable fear that they would show up at my home to cause me physical harm, as has happened with so many other women who have similarly had their personal info exposed as a form of politically motivated harassment," Rodriguez said.
After the confrontation, Rodriguez was fired by Hunter College, which is a part of the City University of New York system, where she taught drawing and painting courses.
Since Tuesday, the tabloid has written nine articles about the encounter -- including an editorial titled "Hunter College freakout proves left loves violence and hates speech" and a separate op-ed headlined "Only thing shocking about machete attack was a college actually firing a woke professor."
"As much as this incident has stakes for my life, it is ultimately just one part of a broader political struggle taking place across the country," Rodriguez said in her statement to Hyperallergic.
"Right-wing media organizations are weaponizing and sensationalizing this case to further their agenda, and using me as a prism through which to project their attacks on women, trans people, Black people, Latinx people, migrants, and beyond."