Dean Skelos' Nephew Accused of Grabbing Reporter, Tossing Phone

Dean Skelos' nephew is facing assault charges after he was accused of grabbing a reporter's wrist and tossing her cellphone after the former New York senate leader was sentenced on federal corruption charges.

Basil Skelos, 27, was arrested on third-degree assault charges Thursday after the hearing for Dean Skelos and Adam Skelos in Manhattan, according to the NYPD. 

The arrest comes after he was caught on camera approaching Daily News reporter Victoria Bekiempis as she and other members of the media interviewed someone on a street corner outside a federal courtroom Thursday morning.

He can be seen grabbing Bekiempis' phone and tossing it as she yells "Hey, give me my phone back!" His other hand can be seen on the woman's wrist. 

Cameramen and reporters then follow after the man as he silently down the sidewalk.

Bekiempis follows after and can be heard shouting, "This guy assaulted me. He grabbed my wrist and threw my phone."

"I think that guy should be stopped," says another person, as a third says, "We all have it on camera!"

Basil Skelos walks silently for several more feet and is heckled by photographers and cameramen before NYPD officers approach. 

A man with the former senator's nephew then tells the officer "they were pushing and harassing us" and alleges that members of the media punched them in the face. 

Bekiempis again accuses Basil Skelos of assaulting her.

He then replies, "I didn't assault anybody. I didn't grab your wrist. I grabbed the phone after my family was pushed and punched in the face."

He adds, "that is not right," and the man with him says "you have the right to remain silent."

The exchange continues for a moment before officers takes him inside a building.

Later, Bekiempis tweeted that the former senator's nephew yelled at her inside the courthouse while police took her information.

Attorneys for Dean Skelos and representatives for the family declined to comment on the incident Thursday. Attorney information for Basil Skelos wasn't immediately available.

The Daily News declined to comment on the attack Thursday afternoon, but the newspaper reported on the attack online

Contact Us