A surprise story came out of Saturday night's protests downtown when a few News On 6 viewers decided to volunteer as bodyguards for reporter Reagan Ledbetter.
News On 6 hired a security guard to go with each of our field reporters Saturday as a precaution, and while our company takes reporter safety seriously, so do our viewers.
“I was kind of watching my back, and he just kind of came in out of nowhere and was with me at all times for the rest of the night,” Reagan said.
He’s referring to a man named Scott McDaniel.
“A lot of people call me Tiny,” said Scott, who had his nickname tattooed on his bicep back in high school. “I guess it's an oxymoron by definition, but it’s stuck on me.”
As Scott puts it, he's a trim 6'5" and 340 pounds.
He went downtown Saturday for no other reason than to experience the historic night.
“I don't have a dog in the fight, I really don't,” he said. “I love Tulsa, I live here. I go down there for Mayfest, concerts, so you can guarantee I'm gonna go down there for the President's rally.”
Around 4th and Boulder McDaniel spotted Reagan, who he recognized from the news, of course, but also from their gym.
“There was a tremendous amount of commotion around him; a lot of active bodies,” said Scott. “I was kind of concerned for him.”
So, he and a few friends decided to step in and serve as extra security detail for Reagan and photographer David Ketter.
“I was not there for drama, for chaos, for aggression, for violence; I was just there to make sure [nothing happened to] the team,” Scott said.
The volunteer security stuck with the News On 6 crew the whole night. They had all angles covered and kept watch during every live shot and in-between.
“You weren't gonna get to him. No you weren't,” Scott said laughing.
“People see [when we’re live] and they just want to jump in, cuss or yell into the camera and [Scott] kept all that from happening,” Reagan said. “He was able to stand there and if anybody walked up, he was like, 'Hey, nope.' I was like in a little bubble all night.”
Our viewers noticed and so did our team in the studio.
“It looks like Reagan has befriended a couple of big guys out there who are protecting him. We don't know who these folks are, but they seem to be with him at every turn here,” said News On 6 anchor Brian Dorman during the live coverage.
“Everybody keeps asking me, texting me, ‘Who are these guys hanging out with me?’ Well, they're some Channel 6 viewers who saw me out here, wanted to help out and keep an eye on me. Scott, Jared and Corey and Coy. Thanks for all you've been doing,” Reagan reported near the end of his live coverage that night.
And just like that, the "bodyguards" turned into a story of their own.
“Maybe people just kind of needed a breath of fresh air in terms of good news, perhaps. It's good to be on this side, though,” Scott said.
Scott is in sales now, but said he worked as a bouncer in college while getting his undergrad and master's degrees. He said he still occasionally works security for different events around northeastern Oklahoma.