The Popcorn Stand: Move over Heidi, here comes Hilde

With the danger of breaking my promise of returning to “silly stuff” when it comes to this Popcorn Stand, as a “biased” journalist — I’m biased to good journalism — I couldn’t resist writing about this, although I do think it’s a silly story.

But first I must ask “what’s the deal with arresting children?” First, I hear about an 11-year-old being arrested for refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance — although technically she was arrested for “escalating” the situation. I mean haven’t the cops and school administrators involved in this situation ever heard of a timeout?

Now I’m reading about Arizona town marshal Joseph Patterson threatening to arrest a 12-year-old journalist Hilde Lysiak. Really? And when I heard that the town marshal told Hilde “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,” for me that was like throwing meat to a pack of hungry dogs.

Lysiak is the real deal. She once broke a story on a homicide in her hometown when she was 9 and has actually fended off threatening text messages after reporting on an alleged drug dealer.

In this recent incident Lysiak films Patterson who incorrectly tells her it’s illegal for her to post the video of the exchange online. Actually it’s been determined Lysiak had every right to do so under the First Amendment.

Lysiak stated she had been riding her bike chasing down a tip when Patterson stopped her. Patterson then came up with excuses for why she could arrest her such as “disobeying his command,” then for riding on the wrong side of the road and then because a mountain lion was in the area. Lysiak pointed out, though, there were other people in the area who weren’t being kicked off the road. Patterson finally claims Lysiak lied to law enforcement.

The reaction to Patterson’s shenanigans from the public has basically been pick on somebody your own size with some posting the video of Lysiak’s exchange with the law enforcement officers with Patterson’s personal phone number. Lysiak has class, too. She said the posting of Patterson’s personal information wasn’t cool.

Anyway move over “Heidi.” I’m looking forward to when the movie “Hilde” is made. I would even miss the end of a football game to make sure I watched it from start to finish.


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