Journalist, 12, faces off with police officer who threatened to arrest her

Yahoo News

Hilde Lysiak filmed the encounter with an Arizona marshal, demanding to know what crime she was being accused of.  

It sounds like something from children’s fiction: a 12-year-old intrepid journalist who fights off threats from the mob and local police to self-publish the truth about her local area in her own newspaper.

But Hilde Lysiak, the editor of the Orange Street News, is the real deal. In 2016, when she was just nine years old, she broke the story of a homicide in her hometown of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, interviewing witnesses and locals hours before other news outlets had ever reached the scene. Hilde’s scoop became a bigger story than the murder. Since then she has broken exclusives on rapes, robberies and a roaming mountain lion as well as fending off threatening text messages after reporting on an alleged drug dealer.

Now Hilde is making headlines of her own once again, after she filmed an Arizona town marshal, Joseph Patterson, threatening her. In the feisty exchange, she repeatedly asks the officer why he threatened to throw her in juvenile prison and what crime she had supposedly committed.

Patterson incorrectly tells her that it would be illegal for her to post a video of the exchange online. It’s a first amendment right to film and publish exchanges with law enforcement. Patterson has since been disciplined by local officials.

According to Hilde’s account in the Orange Street News, she had been riding her bike chasing down a tip when Patterson stopped her. She identified herself as a journalist and Patterson told her: “I don’t want to hear about any of that freedom of the press stuff … I’m going to have you arrested and thrown in juvie.”

After asking what she could be arrested for, Hilde claims Patterson first said she could be arrested for “disobeying his command”, then for riding on the wrong side of the road, then because a mountain lion was spotted in the area – although she points out that “other people in the area who were not kicked off the road”.

The recorded exchange took place after this initial threat, when Patterson again says he could arrest her and Hilde repeatedly asks what crime she has committed. Patterson this time tells her she lied to law enforcement. The video has now been viewed more than 170,000 times.

Law enforcement responded on Wednesday via the town of Patagonia’s website. In all caps, they wrote that they they had received many comments about the confrontation. “The matter has been carefully reviewed and we have taken action we believe to be appropriate for the situation,” the statement said. “We do not publicly disclose personnel actions including discipline and will have no further comment on this matter.” Hilde has also said she won’t be doing any interviews about the incident.

Some people had reposted the video with Patterson’s personal phone number in an attempt to dox the officer. On Twitter Hilde discouraged this, saying: “I am glad the town has ‘taken action’ but one note, I don’t believe people should spread around the Marshal’s personal information on the Internet. My focus is on protecting our First Amendment Rights. Thank you.”

Even before this incident, Hilde’s journalistic exploits have now been made into a Scholastic book series called Hilde Cracks the Case. In the first book she solves the mystery of the stolen cupcakes from an Orange Street bakery. More titles, and a TV series have been developed. Perhaps Hilde Shuts Up a Cop will be among them.

5 thoughts on “Journalist, 12, faces off with police officer who threatened to arrest her

  1. Bwahahahah! You can lie to your mother, father, & your priest, but you CAN’T LIE to law enforcement. In other words, don’t lie to God of whom these Blackwater thugs THINK they are.

    This has got to be the joke of the day!

    1. they are the joke of the century

      and they keep pushing this shit of “we have to talk to them” , Its going to be a huge backfire when no one talks to them and they finally become completely irrelevant ( cant do their job subverting us all, if no one gives them anything )..its coming, if we and kids like this can wake up more people to just keeping their mouths shut around these tyrants, they will end up with nothing , no power over us and a complete joke to the rest of the country as they slowly wake up to how useless these schmucks are

      12 year old has way more balls then most adults i know

    1. Because he’s GUILTY
      No trial necessary

      In fact I say you and I beat the shit out of him until he’s near death and tell our bosses he resisted our orders
      We both get a raise , pat on the back
      A promotion and two weeks paid vacation

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