The Providence Phoenix recently went looking for the story behind the now viral video of Melisa Lawrence throwing a rock at WLNE reporter Abbey Niezgoda and photographer Marc Jackson, then grabbing a baseball bat to drive the local ABC affiliate crew away before eventually siccing her dogs on them.
Everybody’s like, “Oh, you’re a star now!” I don’t feel like a star. If this is what they call “being a star” then guess what? Let me be the dirt. I’d rather be . . . just a pile of dirt. Because that’s how I feel. I feel like a bag of poop. I feel like nothing. I feel like the scum of the earth.
The Phoenix spoke to local reporters, community leaders and Lawrence herself to hear what happened before the incident, what might have prevented it from happening and give Lawrence more dimension than the video suggests.
Lawrence, who is now facing two counts of felony assault with a dangerous weapon, told the Phoenix the story was ruining her life and went on to offer some advice to TV crews, “When you’re dealing with the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or whoever — just dealing with victims of a shooting, period — have some compassion. Put yourself in their shoes. You know? Try to get a better understanding of what they’re going through and, like, approach them a different way. If they say ‘No,’ just understand: ‘No’ means ‘No.’”
image: Natalja Kent