suspect's family

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<knock knock>

What's the best way to handle an angry parent?

Also, what's the best rant you've receiced from him/her?

Terry E. Toller

Well-known member
Depends on their behavior. If they are polite, I am also. But if they make threats and try to assault me, IT'S ON! I have had family members try to attack me and take my camera away from me. Pepper spray always changes their minds...


Well-known member
best story--kid got bit by an alligator(not seriously) so they send me to where he was taken. kid and dad are sitting outside waiting on taxi b/c dad is hammered. I ask if they want to say anything, and they cussed me out. so I start getting exteriors with the camera turned the opposite direction of where they're sitting, and the dad comes up cussing and threatening me. he takes a shot at pushing the camera over, but he couldn't get it out of my kung-fu grip. then he tries taking a swing at me and misses; his momentum took him to the ground, where he passed out.

Terry E. Toller

Well-known member
I wish you had that on tape! I would pay to see video like that!

I was once covering an auto wrecker that was busted by the highway patrol for running a chop shop (selling stolen cars).

A very large man came from inside the business and ordered all the cameras off the property. I was the only one there that didn't have a boss to answer to so I rolled tape of him pushing other photogs off of the property.

He then walked over to me while I was rolling. He reached out to put his hand over my lens and I hit the back of his hand with my fist. You could see it in his eyes that it hurt. I told him if he touched me or my camera that he would go to jail for assault. He explained that he didn't want to be on TV. So, I told him to go inside and he did. The other cameras returned to the parking lot just outside the front door where we interviewed the arresting officers. I pull that video out just for a good laugh from time to time...

I later found out from the cops that he is a bouncer for a strip club.


Well-known member
i was covering a child molestation case in alexandria, la -- insert redneck joke here. the family comes out of court and i'm standing next to the d.a. rolling tape. (side bar, the family was supporting the uncle, not the victim)

one family member walks up and tries to uppercut me. i lean back, and he just barely grazes me. i allow the jerk to get out of the building then ask the d.a. to arrest him and get the video of him in cuffs walking back into the building.

also had a guy try to run me over with his pich-up truck -- brushed me with his side mirror. and had a wacko with a hostage shoot at me while i was hiding behind a cop car.

my workers comp. company loves me.

Shaky & Blue

Well-known member
These immigrants with no drivers' licenses, no insurance and no Ingles came out of a convenience store, slammed their car in reverse without looking, hit a little girl who was riding her bicycle through the parking lot and dragged her 25 feet before the screaming from other people on the property convinced them to stop. She was transported before I got there.

I arrived in time to see the immigrants being questioned and jumped out to shoot from the sidewalk. The owner of the convenience store came out and screamed at me to get off his property. Since I wasn't on his property, he threatened to beat my ass. Then he threatened to call 30 guys to come beat my ass. He said he didn't want his property photographed.

I remained calm throughout and didn't argue with him other than to let him know I couldn't leave until I had the video I needed. He stood in front of my camera to physically block my shot. I moved. He picked up a "for rent" sign someone had discarded on the sidewalk and used it to block my shot. I went across the street. He drove his truck into the street and blocked my shot with it. Whenever I would move, he would move. The cops just stood there watching him block traffic.

I was about to climb on top of my truck, where he couldn't possibly block me, when he suddenly had a change of heart. He said, "Okay, you got two minutes to get what you need, then get outta here. You gonna film those f*ckers, right?" (pointing to the immigrants)

"Yeah," I said, "I need video of them especially."

"Good," he said, and sped away.

I shot what I needed and was packing up my stuff to leave, when he came speeding down the alley next to the place and stopped near me. Here we go again, I thought.

When he pulled up, he said, "Listen, can I talk to you a minute?" First, he apologized for his behavior and said he knew I had a job to do. Then he explained that the little girl who was hit was his daughter. But she wasn't actually his daughter, although he was the only father she had ever known. The girl belonged to his ex-girlfriend, who was a drug addict and had run off with another man five years earlier, leaving the little girl with him to raise.

This guy had owned this neighborhood store for years, so the woman knew where to find him. In fact, he and his situation were widely known in the neighborhood, so it wasn't as if he were hiding. But he was afraid that if this woman saw coverage of the accident on television, wherever she was, that she would show up and try to take the girl from him. Since he didn't actually have legal custody of her, he was afraid she might be successful if she tried.

I asked if he knew how the girl was doing, and he said that's where he had gone when he left, to call the hospital to find out, and that she wasn't injured other than a bruise or two. He said, "I was a little outta my mind before I knew she was okay. That's why I acted like I did." Then he apologized again. He did ask whether I might get the coverage toned down if possible, but he also said he knew we would have to run it and didn't blame me for it.

After all that, I felt kinda bad about it. My family has been through a custody battle, so I know exactly what this guy was trying to avoid. Even though that woman abandoned her kid, the law says she has the right to challenge any custody claim and actually favors awarding custody back to her! Knowing the story made me understand how helpless this guy felt, seeing his little girl run over (yes, he witnessed it), then seeing television cameras arrive, bringing the very real possibility of losing his family.

I don't know whether anything happened as a result of our coverage, but at least we only ran a VO in one show. The producer wasn't very interested in it since the girl wasn't maimed or killed.


"...haven't you people done enough damage?!!!"

That's right. It's all my fault that your son drove his security car into the woods where he raped and strangled a 15 year old girl...

<exphotog in DC>

Originally posted by <niburo>:
"...haven't you people done enough damage?!!!"
Yeah....I've heard THAT line more than once myself.

19 year old kid gets drunk and races through the dark county backroads with a couple of young girls in the truck with him...classmates from the local high school. He's pissed and somebody they plead for him to slow down and let them out, but he just drives faster. Dude loses control and rolls truck multiple times and kills one of the girls. He's convicted of vehicular homicide.

Dude gets 8-10 years in the state pen. But he's friends with the young good ole boy (YGOB)sheriff and dudes father is good friends with young good ole boy sheriff's father, who happened to be the old good ole boy (OGOB)sheriff before YGOB sheriff took over. So dude is never sent to the state pen and spends his time as a "trusty" of young GOB sheriff. So dude gets to drive around the town on the county tractor, unsupervised of course, work at OGOB sheriff's house and pretty much move around at will. He just has to check into the jail at night. Now this is a convicted felon....and the girl's family has to see all of this happen everyday.

We get pics of the dude running around on the tractor and hanging out at OGOB sheriff's house. Show the pics to the judge that passed sentence on dude and has the state remove him from the jail and put into the state system as he ordered over a year before.

We show up at Dude's reclassification hearing at the state pen....and of course his family is there and irate for us "stirring things up" His father gave us the "this is all YOUR fault" line demanding to know why "we stuck our nose in it." All of this right in front of the family of the girl he killed.

Last I heard, he's still in jail. I'm sure his parents are still pissed at me, but I don't care!


I love these...

I was sent once to shoot a teacher busted for drugs. We knew what time he was going to turn himself into the police. So I was there just shooting the jail check-in, figuring I'd shoot the right guy. Well, in walked this guy and a older lady. Turns out it was him with his mom. Well, the mom went nuts screaming that I can't be there and that I should be kicked out. (oh, btw-I was friends with the station, so they just let me be.) As the guy preceded to check in and walk thru the big iron gates, the mom jumped in my face and started pushing me around and bocking my lense. I did roll on it...

Once it was all over, I simply looked up at the nearest officer, right infront of the mom, and asked when the mug shot would be ready for me to pick up.

So not only did i have a mug shot of the guy, but great vid of the mom trying to kick my ass. It made great tease vid and I got credit on air hanging in there :)


Well-known member
I had to get video of this lady walking into this backwoods court one night (you know the one, only open 1 day a week for 3 hours) because she had left a LOADED shotgun lying around her house and her son and his friend found it and were fooling around and her son ended up accidentally shooting his friend. Well it was about 8pm and they finally pull up, her and some big drunk guy who I assume was her husband. As soon as he sees me, "YOU BETTER GET THAT F---ING CAMERA OFF ME ASSH--- AND I MEAN RIGHT NOW!! I'LL SUE YOUR F---ING ASS!" Then he proceeds to tell the woman to get back in the car because they are going to sue that SOB (the SOB being me) so I am just following them back and he proceeds to inform me that "IT'S PUKES LIKE YOU THAT F--- THIS WORLD UP". Now what I wanted to say was that I wasn't the one who left a shotgun lying around but I didn't. Then he tells me that "YOU'RE A PIECE OF F---ING DOGS---!!" They then get in their car she starts to back out and then realizes that I am still rolling and then attempts to back up while trying to cover her face with her coat and duck below the steering wheel. They manage to speed off w/out even going into the court and then I go inside the court and they had gotten a phone call from those two saying that I was blocking their way into the court even though the whole video is shot from the side. Fun times.


a woman slit her two kids throats with a butcher knife saying the devil is going to take them so i had to save there lives was dodgeing me while she was on trial, three out of five stations talked with the family and agreed that they wouldnt shoot any video of her till the trial is ended. A photographer from the other station (that didnt make a deal) shows up just when she and her uncle and father is getting out of an elevator, we start to roll and the uncle and father rush us like a pack of freaking loonies puts the other photog in a freaking wwf choak hold,(yes i am still rolling on all of this) they freak out screaming you told up that you wouldnt try and shoot video of us till the trial is over, breaking away from these freaks we tell him that there is no way we would ever make a deal and we will shoot what ever we want. after the court cops arrive we just sit there while they are screaming and saying that we broke the deal. then we calmly say, would you please arrest this freak for assult. man they went off on. it was great we just stood there and laughed our asses off.


There is no way that you can make a "deal" like that. It's one thing not to take a pic of a victim during a trial and everybody having an understanding of that, (usually done by a judge's order) but to agree not to take pics of a defendant in a situation like that is nuts.
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