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Crime

Thieves Steal Gear from KTVU News Van Over the Weekend

KTVU LOGO_304x200When KTVU reporter Katie Utehs and photojournalist Jacob Unger came back to the parking lot where they left their news van Sunday morning, they found the van was still there but some of their gear was missing.

According to SFGate, “When they returned to the van, they found that someone had smashed the locks on the passenger side and stolen a LiveU portable camera-backpack system used for live broadcasting, a laptop computer, a tripod and other gear.”

The pair had been covering an event in the Fruitvale District in Oakland.

This is the latest in a growing string of incidents involving news crews in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose market.

In response, several TV stations, including KPIX, KRON and KGO, have hired security guards to accompany reporters and camera operators in Oakland. Many of the guards are retired police officers.

KTVU does not automatically send security guards out with its crews, but employees who are concerned about their safety can request the escorts, several KTVU staffers said.

One employee who didn’t wish to be identified said “We are afraid,” in light of recent confrontations involving the media. “Our crews continue to be crime victims.” Read more

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Myrtle Beach Reporter Charged with Trespassing

Michael Maely, an anchor for Myrtle Beach, SC, NBC affiliate WMBF, has been charged with trespassing after trying to get a comment from the parents of Tammy Moorer, who is charged with kidnapping and murder.

According to a court summons from the State of South Carolina, on February 27, Maely entered the land of Tammy’s father William Caison, located on the 8700 block of Highway 814 in Myrtle Beach. The Horry County Police report states there are about 100 “no trespassing” signs around Caison’s property.

In video on the station’s website Maely can be seen approaching Caison’s home while a woman standing on the porch appears to take his picture.

“Hi there, with WMBF News,” said Maely in the video. “Can we talk to you about your daughter Tammy, or your sister Tammy?”

Instead, the family called police.

According to the police report, Caison told police that after being told to leave the property, Maely attempted to force the door open. Maely told police that he did not come within eight feet of Caison’s door. Read more

KHOU’s Ron Trevino Arrested For DUI

ron trevinoKHOU anchor Ron Trevino was arrested Tuesday night for DUI, the Houston CBS affiliate reports on its website.

“We are aware of the circumstances surrounding the arrest and are grateful that neither Ron nor any others were injured in this incident,” the station said in a statement online. “…KHOU supports Ron as he goes through the legal process.”

It is the first offense for Trevino, who anchors the morning newscasts at KHOU, according to the Houston Chronicle. He was released on a $500 bond and will next appear in court on March 19.

Former WNYW Reporter Charles Leaf Convicted of Sexual Assault

charles leafFormer WNYW reporter Charles Leaf has been found guilty of sexually assaulting his then 4-year-old daughter and possessing child porn, the Associated Press reports.

The former reporter has maintained his innocence throughout the 21-day trial. On the witness stand, the girl he was accused of molesting — who is now 8 — withdrew her accusations, and Leaf’s father-in-law testified that he had viewed child porn on Leaf’s computer.

As he was led from the New Jersey courtroom, Leaf shouted to his wife, “Tell the kids I love them,” according to the Cliffview Pilot.

Watch WNYW’s report on the verdict after the jump. Read more

WBBM’s Dave Savini Pleads Guilty to DUI

savini_cropped_WbbmWBBM investigative reporter Dave Savini pleaded guilty Tuesday to DUI. Savini, who has been off the air since the arrest last month, will return to work next week, the CBS owned station reports.

“I made a mistake and used bad judgment to drive after drinking. I take full responsibility and I apologize. I deeply regret it,” Savini said in a statement through his attorney.

Savini was arrested after a car accident in a the parking lot of a Taco Bell in Naperville, Ill. He was cited for DUI, hit and run, battery and child endangerment. A special prosecutor has dropped all the charges except the DUI, and Savini will pay $3,185 in fines and fees, as well as perform 200 hours of community service and attend alcohol counseling.

WBBM’s report Tuesday was the first time the station has covered the arrest.

Adrian Pittman ‘No Longer With WBRZ’ After Theft Arrest

adrian pittman wbrzAdrian Pittman is out at WBRZ after he was arrested for theft, the Baton Rouge ABC affiliate reported on its 10 p.m. newscast Thursday.

“Gonzales police say a former WBRZ reporter is accused of theft from a store in Ascension Parish. Adrian Pittman is accused of putting the value of returned merchandise onto a gift card while working at the store,” Sylvia Weatherspoon said on the newscast. “There may be additional charges as investigators review a number of transactions. Again, Pittman is no longer with WBRZ.”

Pittman joined WBRZ in May 2012.

Outside Prosecutor Sought in DUI Case of WBBM Reporter Dave Savini

savini_304DuPage County prosecutors will seek the appointment of a special prosecutor for the DUI case of WBBM reporter Dave Savini because of a potential conflict of interest, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

“A member of our supervisory staff is a family relative of Mr. Savini,” a spokesman for the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office told the Sun-Times. He said if the judge agrees, a special prosecutor from outside the county will be named.

Savini was arrested earlier this month after an accident in the parking lot of a Taco Bell in Naperville, Ill. He faces charges of DUI, endangering the life of a child and battery.

Viewers Express Anger After WQAD Reports Anchor Jason Fechner’s DUI

jason fechnerWQAD, the ABC affiliate in serving the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa, is facing some negative Facebook comments after reporting the DUI arrest of its main anchor, Jason Fechner.

Fechner’s co-anchor, Denise Hnytka, told viewers of Fechner’s DUI arrest on Monday’s 5 p.m. newscast, saying he had been arrested for driving under the influence overnight and was subsequently taken to the Rock Island County Jail, where he later posted bond.

After the report aired, WQAD got some negative feedback about the report on its Facebook page, ranging from “I thought it was kind of tacky how you announced the news about Jason Fechner” to “I think it was really crappy of you to publicly humiliate a fellow colleague like you did. We will not be watching your news cast anymore!! Very disrespectful.”

“Was a loyal WQAD watcher until tonight. Way to stay classy channel 8. KWQC will be number 1 in our house from today forward,” one commenter wrote. “Very sad that any producer thought what was done on tonight’s news was necessary.” Read more

Shoplifting Suspect Crashes Into Chattanooga TV Station Parking Lot

A 19-year-old Chattanooga man led police on an early morning chase that ended in the parking lot of CBS affiliate WDEF.

According to police, Sawyer Clanton tried to steal more than $500 worth of X-Box and Playstation controllers along with a 12-pack of Bud Light from a nearby Wal-Mart.

WDEF anchor Joe Legge said he looked out a station window at 4:00 a.m. and, “The cops were out of their vehicles with their guns drawn heading off that way into our gated parking lot.” Read more

Murder Suspect Calls KOVR During Police Standoff

A man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, William Gardner III, made a phone call to Sacramento CBS O&O KOVR during a police standoff in Las Vegas. The station played clips from the Gardner’s conversation with reporter Derek Shore on Monday’s evening newscast (video above).

The conversation, which Shore described as “very tense between both of us,” lasted for about an hour. A police negotiator was on the line for a “significant portion” of the call, according to KOVR. Gardener allowed Shore to speak to two people in the apartment with him, neither of whom said they were being held against their will.

The standoff ended when Gardner surrendered at 12:40 a.m. Tuesday morning.

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