Which hurts more, being brained with a rock or being pestered by national media about it? This morning, Danny Fulgencio is choosing the press.
"I got nailed in the head by a rock, bled like a motherfucker, became national news, went to bed, am now even bigger national news," he says.
The 37-year-old, a staff photographer and photo editor of the Advocate magazine, was standing outside an otherwise peaceful Donald Trump rally in Dallas when a thrown rock sailed into the crowd. At the time, he was talking to a Trump supporter. "He was just introducing me to his wife," Fulgencio says. "I didn't see who threw it or where it came from. I don't want to say an anti-Trump protester threw it. There were some people from each side mixed in together. It's not like there were trenches dug."
The rock hit the photographer on the hairline. "It bled like crazy," he says. "The rock got me right where people hit soccer balls with their heads. So if you have to be hit in the head with a rock, that's a good spot."
The blood pouring down his face attracted media like sharks to a wounded fish. "All of a sudden I was surrounded by cameramen and photographers," he says.
Dallas police and emergency medical technicians swarmed, taking the stunned journalist away from the throng. They found a 1/4-inch gash in his forehead. Fulgencio took a selfie before they bandaged his head, declined a trip to the emergency room, and went back to work within 20 minutes. "That's when the light was just getting good," he says.
By the time he got home, requests from television and print media had filled his cellphone and email. The most tenacious seemed to be Fox News and other outlets who wanted to know if an anti-Trump protester was responsible. He didn't answer any requests and instead "had a couple beers and went to bed."
In the grand scheme of things, he sees this incident being blown out of proportion. Some media have definitively identified the thrower as being linked to protesters, when the case is not so cut and dry. "Let's be clear," he told the Observer, which sometimes hires Fulgencio. "I have no idea who threw that rock."
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.