U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Man fleeing authorities steals TV station’s car in North Carolina

Incident Details

July 3, 2021

A man fleeing from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol stole a car from TV station WRAL reporter Keenan Willard and photographer Lucas Nelson just after they finished a live report to the 11 p.m. newscast on July 3, 2021.

According to a report on WRAL, the Raleigh, North Carolina NBC affiliate, a man had approached the journalist and photographer and offered them cash to drive him to a gas station in the station’s car. When they refused, he jumped into WRAL’s car and drove down U.S. Highway 64.

A State Highway Patrol trooper saw the incident and pursued the man, who shortly after crashed head-on into a trooper’s car and was taken into custody, WRAL reported.

Willard, who didn’t respond to a request for comment, wrote on Twitter just after the incident that the journalist were shaken up.

WRAL posted video of the incident as it unfolded, adding it wouldn’t make any further statement about the theft of the car.

Four people were later taken into custody, according to the report.

The NCSHP didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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