Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CCJ Escapee: The Story Thus Far + Local Media Commentary

If you're here for just the story and not the commentary, scroll down to the big orange OK. Otherwise, some commentary:

Well well well. It looks like, apart from WQYX/WCPA (who originally reported the story locally over the air but not online) and WOKW (who first reported the inmate's capture), everybody's late to the party. Boy, it's a good thing SOMEONE was covering this story as it unfolded! Because then everyone would have to wait for these lame fuckers to get with the program and tell them what's going on.

From WJAC 6 in Johnstown, PA - who hadn't even heard this story until I called them - comes this little blurb on their website, including some of their news video. Yesterday, it was reported that WJAC's crew on the scene was pissing authorities off by not remaining in the designated press staging area. We figure that, since they were late to the game, they were trying to play catch-up by bending the rules and trying for a scoop. They're reporting that Rodriguez was injured but able to walk to the ambulance, which conflicts with my reports of Rodriguez's legs being barely able to bend correctly, let alone carry him up a hill. They also give the new location of Lecontes Mills, where the police began chasing him towards his fate on 879.

WTAJ 10 out of Altoona, PA has an article on their big advertising behemoth of a shit-tastic website, confirming that Rodriguez is, in fact, from Buffalo, NY (which would explain the big influx of traffic to my site from that area via Google searches), and reports that the time of capture as 10:30am. WTAJ was aware of the story when I called, and had dispatched reporter Danielle Kraut to the scene, who filed reports via phone on last evening's newscast.

Also on deck is the "blog" (another Blogger account, no less) of a so-called News Radio station, WESB 1490AM out of Bradford, PA (greetings to my friends there). Hahaha. Like WTAJ, they have a main Website that's totally ad-saturated, and doesn't have much content of interest at all.

One of my Twitter rivals, the Centre Daily Times (news rag out of State College, PA), has pretty much been silent on the whole story. That's some fine reporting there, Lou. Not one single tweet of theirs had anything to do with this story: They were more concerned about the tragic accidental death of a Penn State student (alcohol was a factor) and more bullshit Homeland Security nonsense about those ever-so-scary turr'sts.

(Note: I am in no way trying to marginalize the tragedy befalling Joseph Dado. It is a sad story indeed, and my sympathies are with his family and friends.)

What's the point of all this ranting? To illustrate the absolute and utter failure of the local news media - including affiliates from all the major networks - to inform the people in a timely manner. They failed to take advantage of the technology they obviously spend lots of money on, just to make look nice and generate ad revenue, apparently. They failed to use the Internet - the ultimate 24 hour, up-to-the-nanosecond communications tool - to inform people of updates. Instead, rumor and hearsay most likely dominated the conversations of people not looking to THIS FUCKING STUPID BLOG for their information.

How the hell did one kid, whom quite a number of people think of as innocuous and somewhat incapable of much, beat the absolute snot out of you when it came to coverage? That's a question I'd like answered, really. Why is it that you all have so much money and so many resources, yet one guy with a few friends and tools available cheaply to the common citizen beat you to the punch and DID YOUR JOB FOR YOU?!? Today, the local news media - if they can be called that, receives a big fat red F- for their absolute FAIL at keeping residents informed of what was obviously a very dangerous situation. You people should just resign and let a whole new team in now. Shame on you.


OK, here we go, piecing together the whole story from start to finish. The source for this info is by way of both PSP and Lawrence Township police departments:

Around 2pm yesterday, Michael Rodriguez escaped Clearfield County Jail (CCJ) by crawling under the frist yard fence, then climbing over the second. After a brief run-around, he stole the truck you saw in the previous photos from Megan and Missy, from some New York area workers who were running into a Cogos for a second, leaving their keys in the truck and allowing Rodriguez to nab it.

At some point, Rodriguez contacted a girlfriend he had in the DuBois area and was trying to get to her place. Unbeknowest to him, she was on the horn with PSP, telling them where he was and what his intentions were.

PSP and LTPD set up a roadblack with spike strips along the Shawville-Croft Highway, or State Route 879, north of Clearfield in front of the home of Sean Owens. Owens stated that you could hear the truck coming up the highway, and he had to have been doing at least 120. He hit the spike strips, lost control, and crashed at the turn shown in the photos Missy sent.

Due to the crash, Rodriguez is reported to have broken both of his legs (reports have also stated ankles). Despite this, PSP and LTPD forcibly removed him from the vehicle, slammed his face onto the ground, and someone put a boot on his neck while he was down. After this, despite the broken legs, police forced him to walk up the hill, where he was later airlifted to an unknown hospital.

Police are still searching the area along the chase route for a reported firearm, as well as impounding and searching the truck that Rodriguez stole.
Crazy, eh? A wee bit of police brutality? I think so! Even though this guy was clearly a dangerous and incredibly stupid individual, having two broken legs after a roadblock crash will certainly diminish your ability to do any sort of fighting back, thus eliminating the need for excessive force.

If these reports are true, PSP and LTPD - as well as any other agencies involved - could be in some serious trouble. Stay tuned. As I learn more, I'll be sure to post it here for all of you.

No comments:

Post a Comment