With some jobs, danger comes with the territory. Sure, we don’t wield guns, but being a reporter isn’t all about covering fluffy, fun stuff. As a reporter, my pen/keyboard is my weapon while my goal is to provide timely, newsworthy stories to friends, family and my community.
Many people compliment me on putting positivity back in the paper. I appreciate that. Still, part of my job is providing info on topics including politics, accidents and deaths. With these type of stories, backlash can ensue.
Recently, I went to cover what sounded like a suspicious death. I entered the address into my GPS app and drove 20 minutes out into the country on a rainy Friday afternoon.
The area was unfamiliar to me, but I knew I was in the right place by the flashing ambulance lights and several Warren County Sheriff's Department vehicles parked in front of the house.
As I pulled up and parked on the street in front of the home, I noticed two men standing and smoking outside. None of the law enforcement officers were in the yard so I remained in my car. I had only been there five minutes when one of the men approached and aggressively knocked on my window asking me in a menacing tone if I was lost and “to keep moving.”
When I get that ping in my gut, I listen. Feeling uneasy, I decided the potential story didn’t warrant my safety so I reversed in a neighboring driveway and headed back toward the Standard. What happened next, scared the snot out of me.
In my rearview mirror, I saw a white pickup truck come barreling over the hill speeding toward me. He rode my bumper for a few seconds before going off road to fly past me nearly scraping the side of my car. Then, slamming on his brakes, he slid horizontal in front of me blocking my exit. I nearly wrecked.
He jumped out, beat on my window screaming and threatening me with a long list of expletives. I can handle a verbal lashing, but my fear turned into rage as I cracked my window and told him his actions were illegal and reckless. Luckily, two deputies approached and positioned their police vehicle between ours.
I admittedly felt relief. After all, how unfortunate would it have been to be assaulted with law enforcement just down the road? They asked if I wished to file a report, but I didn’t. Maybe I should have, but it seemed like more paperwork for them and it’s my hope that I never see that sketchy man again. Of all the times not to have my pepper spray!
This is just one experience to show you the lengths we go to provide accurate, firsthand information. Although accidents, crime and deaths are unpleasant topics, that doesn’t stop them from happening.
I wish everything I covered was over volunteerism, holiday events and inspiring feature stories, but like reporter Lisa Hobbs says, “We cover the good, the bad and the ugly.”
You deserve to know what’s happening in our town and we’ll continually strive to keep you in the know.
Standard reporter Lacy Garrison can be reached at 473-2191.