12-Year-Old Journalist Faces Down Police Officer Threatening to Arrest Her

Whoever said that children should be seen, and not heard, would have another think coming after meeting 12-year-old Hilde Lysiak, the publisher and editor of the Orange Street News, which is a local newspaper in her Pennsylvania town.

Way back in 2016, when she was merely nine years old, Lysiak first came to public attention after she got the first scoop of a murder having taken place in her hometown by interviewing witnesses several hours before other news outlets even found out about the homicide; she was famously quoted as saying “Just because I’m nine years old, doesn’t mean I can’t do a great story.”

According to the Guardian, she has since gone on to break 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, the news-breaker has become news-maker again, after a recent verbal confrontation between her and an Arizona state law enforcement official was caught by her on camera, and the incident subsequently reported by her in her own Orange Street News, before being picked up by media outlets around the world.
In the video showing part of the exchange, Lysiak can be heard being threatened with arrest by Joseph Patterson, a Marshal for the Arizona town of Patagonia (where the 12-year-old had gone to research for a story). Refusing to be intimidated, Lysiak continuously asks on what grounds the Marshal is planning to arrest her and throw her into juvenile prison.

In the post accompanying the video, Lysiak tweeted, “A law officer threatened to have me arrested today for doing my job. Luckily, I have it on video: “I don’t want to hear about any of that freedom of the press stuff,” said Patterson.The Marshal continued “I’m going to have you arrested and thrown in juvey.”

According to Lysiak, when she asked exactly what she could be arrested for, allegedly Patterson first said she could be arrested for “disobeying his command”, then because she was riding on the wrong side of the road, and finally because a mountain lion had been spotted in the area; Lysiak then made a reference to “other people in the area who were not kicked off the road”.

Since the incident, the towns’s authorities have reportedly “taken disciplinary action” against Patterson, as noted on the town’s website, in an all-caps statement, which reads:

THE TOWN OF PATAGONIA HAS RECEIVED MANY COMMENTS CONCERNING MARSHALL PATTERSON’S INTERACTION WITH A YOUNG REPORTER FROM THE ORANGE STREET NEWS.. THE MATTER HAS BEEN CAREFULLY REVIEWED AND WE HAVE TAKEN ACTION WE BELIEVE TO BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE SITUATION. WE DO NOT PUBLICLY DISCLOSE PERSONNEL ACTIONS INCLUDING DISCIPLINE AND WILL HAVE NO FURTHER COMMENT ON THIS MATTER.

Updated: February 26, 2019 — 2:42 am