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Reporter found guilty of disorderly conduct after police kept him away from Ed Gillespie

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie speaks during a Tea Party debate at Goochland High School in Goochland, Va., Saturday, April 22, 2017. He and two others face off in a primary on June 13.

Steve Helber / AP

FAIRFAX, Va. — A reporter has been found guilty of misdemeanor disorderly conduct after police kept him away from Virginia Republican Ed Gillespie last year.

The Washington Post reports Judge Mark Simmons said Mike Stark sought the confrontation and changed from "a reporter to an actor." Stark works for Shareblue, a media company that says it employs people who are "passionate about progressive causes."

The judge also imposed a $500 fine on Tuesday and dismissed a charge of fleeing police.

Stark said he's surprised at the verdict. He said police told him to stay away from the gubernatorial candidate's van and accused him of blocking a roadway during a parade last October. Partial video shows them arguing before Stark is pushed and forced to the ground.