News crew in the news


A reporter and photographer from Raycom’s WOIO-TV (Ch. 19, CBS) Cleveland were wrapping up a story last week when they realized they were witnesses to a kidnapping. The incident ended with an arrest – and a thankful victim.

Reporter Shannon O’Brien tried to be helpful when the passenger in an SUV asked if she knew the location of a particular bank branch. But she noticed that the driver looked terrified and he used hand gestures that the other man didn’t see to indicate that the passenger had a gun. O’Brien said she was sorry, but she didn’t know about the bank, so the SUV drove off. But she and photographer Eric Walls followed the SUV and called 911.

As the news vehicle followed the SUV for about 15 minutes, police were able to set up and surround the SUV in an intersection. The driver jumped out and escaped his assailant. Police arrested the passenger and found him in possession of a gun and a clip of bullets. He’s now in jail facing a $50,000 bond to get out.

Video of the arrest is on the WOIO website, along with an interview of the carjacked driver (although he didn’t want his face on camera) who was relieved that O’Brien took his gestures seriously. Not surprisingly, that interview ends with a hug.