U.S. Press Freedom Tracker

Man robs and briefly kidnaps NBC affiliate reporter at gunpoint

Incident Details

August 27, 2019

A reporter for NBC Right Now in Kennewick, Washington, was robbed and briefly kidnapped at gunpoint while covering a local teachers strike on Aug. 27, 2019.

An undisclosed reporter had set up her video camera in the parking lot of the Kennewick School District ahead of a planned teachers strike, YakTriNews reported. At around 5:45 a.m., as she was sitting in her news vehicle waiting for the rally to begin, a man got into the backseat of her car, pointed a gun at her and told her to drive.

She complied, but after driving a few feet the man “got spooked,” NBC Right Now reported. Kennewick Police Lt. Aaron Clem told the Tri-City Herald that the man told her to stop the car, then got out of it and ran across the street and toward some apartments.

YakTriNews reported that the man took the journalist’s microphone with him when he fled. NBC Right Now reported that she was uninjured.

A 19-year-old identified as Karlo Medina was arrested in connection with the incident later that day, and has been charged with first-degree robbery and second degree kidnapping, in addition to burglary and attempted rape in an unrelated incident the day before.

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