Trisha McCauley

KIMA Action News journalist Trisha McCauley threatened with knife, had camera damaged

October 30, 2017

Trisha McCauley, a reporter for local TV station KIMA, was chased and threatened by a knife-wielding man in Yakima, Washington, on Oct. 30, 2017. The man also broke McCauley's camera equipment.

McCauley and another local TV reporter — Maria Leal of KAPP and KVEW — were preparing for an interview with Jason White, a local city council candidate, when they noticed a man screaming at them from across the street.

“He was yelling, ‘Get the fuck out of here,’ and waving his arms, so I picked my camera up and moved closer to Maria,” McCauley said. “I felt safer in a group.”

McCauley said that when White drove up for the interview, the man approached him, but then suddenly left as they began the interview.

“We mic'd [White] up, and he was spelling his name for a mic check when I heard a bottle break,” McCauley said.

“We looked over, and the man had thrown a glass bottle that shattered on the sidewalk near us,” she said.

According to McCauley, the man continued demanding that she and Leal leave, so the reporters decided to pack up and continue the interview with White somewhere else.

McCauley said that she saw the man lift up his shirt and pull out a knife.

“We just took off running down the street,” she said, adding that the man chased her, Leal, and White for about half a block. The man then returned to the spot where McCauley and Leal had set up for the interview and began breaking their equipment.

“I turned around and saw him chuck my camera to the ground and break it, and there was a lot of cracking," McCauley said.

McCauley said that Leal called the police while the man hid in a nearby house. Police eventually took the man into custody after a police stand-off that lasted for several hours.

McCauley said that her TV station has sent her camera away to be checked for internal damage. In the meantime, she is sharing a camera with another reporter.

The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker catalogues press freedom violations in the United States. Email tips to [email protected]

Related Incidents

Journalists threatened with assault while covering Olympia protest

January 6, 2021
Sara Gentzler, a reporter for the Olympian, was threatened by an armed individual while covering a demonstration at the Capitol in Olympia, Washington, on Jan. 6, 2021.The protest that day, which started at the Capitol, migrated to the Governor’s Mansion and grew increasingly aggressive as the afternoon wore on, was one of several held by supporters of President Donald Trump around the country, organized as the U.S. Congress was set to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory.Gentzler told the …
More related incidents