As Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price walked through a hallway yesterday in the West Virginia State Capitol, veteran reporter Dan Heyman followed alongside him, holding up his phone to Price while attempting to ask him a question. Heyman, a journalist with Public News Service, repeatedly asked the secretary whether domestic violence would be considered a pre-existing condition under the Republican bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system, reports the Washington Post.“He didn’t say anything,” Heyman said later. “So I persisted.”
An officer in the Capitol pulled him aside, handcuffed him and arrested him. Heyman was jailed on the charge of “Willful Disruption of State Government Processes” and was released on $5,000 bail. Authorities said while Secret Service agents were providing security for Price and Kellyanne Conway, special counsel to the president, Heyman was “aggressively breaching” the agents to the point where they were “forced to remove him a couple of times from the area.” Heyman “was causing a disturbance by yelling questions at Ms. Conway and Secretary Price,” stated a criminal complaint. Heyman insists he was simply fulfilling his role as a journalist, and feels that his arrest sets a “terrible example” for members of the press seeking answers to questions. Price and Conway were visiting Charleston, W.Va., to hear about efforts to fight opioid addiction in a state that has the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate.