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Post-Dispatch reporter recovering after attack while covering Ferguson

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Post-Dispatch reporter Paul Hampel was beaten, bloodied and robbed by a group of attackers as he covered the Ferguson protests Sunday night.

Hampel said he was taking photos and videos of break-ins along West Florissant Avenue shortly before he was attacked. Suddenly, he said, he was rushed from behind.

“I got swarmed, beaten down really bad,” he said.

The attackers punched him in the face, hit him in the head at least three times and kicked him in the back of the head when he was on the ground, Hampel said.

The attackers took his phone and wallet and left. Hampel headed back to the police line and encountered New York Times photographer Whitney Curtis. He told her he needed an ambulance.

Someone laid him down on the grass, and he doesn’t remember much after that.

He said he suffered a concussion and was kept overnight at a hospital for evaluation. He said he also suffered a puncture wound in his knee, perhaps from glass in the parking lot. He was released from the hospital Monday afternoon.

In addition to Hampel and a man who police say was critically injured in a shootout with officers, two others were treated at hospitals for injuries sustained in the Ferguson area.

Hampel is among several journalists who have been injured, attacked or robbed while covering Ferguson and its aftermath since the Aug. 9, 2014, fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

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