Moron reporter arrested

I’m sorry…is the title too harsh…?

An investigative reporter in Lubbock, TX was arrested after hospital officials caught her acting suspiciously. :smack:

I’m sure that the story idea sounded great at the morning pitch session, but don’t ya just hate it when security does what they’re supposed to do?

Unless the boss is covering for her, it sounds like the approach she used was agreed upon by the higher-ups (and for all we know, it was their idea to make it a more sensational expose’) so I’m not sure calling her a moron is fair.

The idea was sure moronic, however.

Not the smartest idea for a reporter and security did it’s job, but I don’t see anything illegal about it. Charging her with attempted aggravated kidnapping sounds ridiculously over the top. I’m not sure she should have been charged with anything at all, or even arrested.

It’s my impression that the original story idea was hers. Here’s a link to the station’s website.

Even with the blessing of her management, there is still plenty of moron to spread around.

Also, upon further review, it appears that the hospitals are in Amarillo and that she works in Lubbock.

Well, if anything, she got her answer on how vigilant security now is around the maternity ward…

Although actually arresting her may be a little heavy handed, she cant have been suprised. She purposely acted suspiciously. If she weren’t a reporter, she would surely have been arrested, at least long enough to determine her intentions. Just saying, “hey I’m a reporter”, doesn’t have any more legal clout than, “but wait, I was just kidding!” When they confirm she was just doing a story, they will drop the charges. I don’t blame them for making her squirm some first.

Saying she’s a reporter doesn’t mean anything legally if she was committing a crime, but it doesn’t appear that she did commit a crime. her behavior was enough to warrant suspicion, questioning by security, getting thrown out of the hospital, perhaps even a call to the police, but is a prosecutor really going to convince a jury that she intended to steal a baby? If not, why charge her with attempted kidnapping?

I think they’re probably just trying to embarrass a TV station and their reporter, and maybe put a dent in this kind of ratings-driven, nuisance, contrived investigative reporting style. I can’t imagine they would actually try to prosecute this case. Maybe she could be charged with disturbing the peace or something, but attempted aggravated kidnapping is just silly.

Sounds to me like the hospital fully believes that she is who she says she is, and is showing just how serious they are about security for the eventual story. Can’t blame 'em, really.

Did a quick google search for some Texas law. Found the aggravated kidnapping section:

*§ 20.04. AGGRAVATED KIDNAPPING. (a) A person commits an

offense if he intentionally or knowingly abducts another person

with the intent to:

	(1)  hold him for ransom or reward;                                           

	(2)  use him as a shield or hostage;                                          

	(3)  facilitate the commission of a felony or the 

flight after the attempt or commission of a felony;

	(4)  inflict bodily injury on him or violate or abuse 

him sexually;

	(5)  terrorize him or a third person;  or                                     

	(6)  interfere with the performance of any governmental 

or political function.

(b)  A person commits an offense if the person intentionally 

or knowingly abducts another person and uses or exhibits a deadly

weapon during the commission of the offense.

(c)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), an offense under 

this section is a felony of the first degree.

(d)  At the punishment stage of a trial, the defendant may 

raise the issue as to whether he voluntarily released the victim in

a safe place. If the defendant proves the issue in the affirmative

by a preponderance of the evidence, the offense is a felony of the

second degree.*
http://law.onecle.com/texas/penal/20.04.00.html

Here’s the section on criminal attempts:

*§ 15.01. CRIMINAL ATTEMPT. (a) A person commits an

offense if, with specific intent to commit an offense, he does an

act amounting to more than mere preparation that tends but fails to

effect the commission of the offense intended.

(b)  If a person attempts an offense that may be aggravated, 

his conduct constitutes an attempt to commit the aggravated offense

if an element that aggravates the offense accompanies the attempt.

(c)  It is no defense to prosecution for criminal attempt 

that the offense attempted was actually committed.

(d)  An offense under this section is one category lower than 

the offense attempted, and if the offense attempted is a state jail

felony, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor*.

http://law.onecle.com/texas/penal/15.01.00.html

And for good measure, here’s the regular kidnapping provision:

*§ 20.03. KIDNAPPING. (a) A person commits an offense if

he intentionally or knowingly abducts another person.

(b)  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this 

section that:

	(1)  the abduction was not coupled with intent to use or 

to threaten to use deadly force;

	(2)  the actor was a relative of the person abducted;  

and

	(3)  the actor's sole intent was to assume lawful 

control of the victim.

(c)  An offense under this section is a felony of the third 

degree. *

http://law.onecle.com/texas/penal/20.03.00.html

Think it would be hard to make attempted aggravated kidnapping stick, since she appears to lack the necessary mens rea–ie, she had no actual intent to commit the crime.

On the other hand, the prosecution can show that she was wearing a disguise, was in the nursery area, and had with her a means of concealing a baby–which I think should be enough to defeat any civil claims for unlawful arrest, etc…

I know that in Texas it’s long been an accepted defense in a murder case to show that the victim “needed killin”.

In this case hospital security should have administered a good beating - hopefully with some painfully broken bones. The fool deserved no less.

It’s also possible that a hospital that was recently embarrassed by a well-publicized crime wanted to make a show of their watchfulness, and maybe deter anybody else who might want to investigate them. It might be a public service to discourage “gotcha” TV journalism, but I think tthe hospitals would also want to keep people from attempting to find holes in its security.

Including whoever at the station website who can’t differentiate counsel (lawyer) from council (group of advisers or legislators). :stuck_out_tongue:

If being a moron reporter were a crime, every news syndicate in America would have to go underground at once.

Well, since I live in Lubbock, I’ve been hearing about this a lot.

The story idea isn’t so bad, especially since the abduction thing has been much in the public mind lately. My question is: what the hell was she thinking by not contacting the hospital administration beforehand? How hard is it to make one phone call, say, “Hi, I’d like to do a story about hospital security in maternity wards, I’d like to test the responsiveness of your security and staff, let’s plan something”?

Dumb, dumb, dumb. But they’ll never be able to convict. Were I the DA up there, I’d have her pick up trash along the highway all weekend and send her home.

There was recently a baby abducted from a Lubbock hospital maternity ward, recovered fairly quickly. The reporter is from a Lubbock TV station. She went “undercover” to a Hospital in Amarillo to do her report.

Just pointing out that the hospital she was caught in wasn’t the one recently embarrased by an abduction.

Here’s a link to the story. The hospital staff was already suspicious and were on the lookout for her, but didn’t realize she was a reporter.

Am I the only one visualizing what her investigative report would have looked like if successful?

“Bob, I’m here in front of the Amarillo Hospital, where I can confirm that security in the maternity ward continues to be deplorably lax. I was able to simply walk in and pick up this baby . . .” holds baby up to camera . . . “and bring her out here on the lawn without anyone questioning me at all. That’s right: I walked straight out with this . . .” holds up baby and shakes it slightly “. . . real live baby, and as far as I could tell, no even noticed.”

It is unfortunate, but around “dees parts” (DFW Area) these types of investigative reporting are the only ways a lot of crooked stuff gets exposed.

Not that I am for it by any means, but some of those types of reporting have nailed Dallas ISD corruptions and Dallas Shitty Council’s bs.

But this woman was kind of asking for it.

That defeats the whole point. If you warn the hospital, you have to assume they will tell their people and you won’t find out what security is really like.

My mistake, Duke of Rat. I do think the hospitals might have wanted to discourage exposee-seekers, though.

If you had a bunch of lawyers wouldn’t that make them a counsel council?

I bet the station doesn’t have the money for a plural of lawyers :cool: