Action 4 News reporter arrested while covering story
Fri, 13 Mar 2009 01:32:39 GMT —
An Action 4 News reporter was arrested while covering a story about a drug chase.
Action 4 News reporter Victor Castillo was arrested by a Mission police officer during a Thursday morning incident.
He arrived on scene to cover a drug chase that ended in a single-vehicle accident at the intersection of Shary Road and Military Highway.
Action 4 News has video of Victor setting up to cover the story in a parking lot.
Victor maintained a safe distance from the crime scene when he was accosted by a Mission police investigator.
Loyal Action 4 News viewers know our job is to bring news that matters and to be an advocate for the people of the Rio Grande Valley.
Action 4 News believes that Victor's actions were in the public interest and that the police officer in question acted in an aggressive unprofessional manner to try and prevent a story from being told.
When first confronted, Victor moved further away to try and continue to tell the story.
The officer decided that was still not good enough, even though you'll see in the video that there were many members of the public present in the same area.
Victor was embarrassed and humiliated before many members of the public.
He was told he was being arrested for failure to identify.
But later when the charges were formally written he was accused and arraigned for allegedly interfering with public duties, a Class B misdemeanor punishable up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Victor was released on a personal recognizance bond.
Action 4 News will continues to follow the case.
Reaction to Victor's arrest immediately poured in to our Action 4 Listens line.
One viewer wrote:
"Just goes to show how some individuals with badges feel they can tell citizens what rights freedom of the press allows them. It's sad that this individual figure of authority lost his cool. He should be reprimanded and a public apology should be made as it was made very public. To the reporter, keep up the good work...as we, the public do count on you to give us as much information about news since we normally learn about the facts from you." -- Anonymous