Reporter Arrest In-Depth - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

03.28.07

Reporter Arrest In-Depth

KCBD Photographer  Ruben Villareal KCBD Photographer Ruben Villareal
Cecelia Coy-Jones being released from Potter County Jail Cecelia Coy-Jones being released from Potter County Jail
NWTH Security Camera NWTH Security Camera

NewsChannel 10's Marissa Bagg has been following this story since late Tuesday night when Jones was arrested. We spoke exclusively with Jones' photographer minutes after she was taken to jail around 11 o'clock last night.

He says he and Jones were working to inform the public on how secure hospitals are in Amarillo. He never thought Jones would end up in handcuffs. Ruben Villarreal was in touch with Jones by cell phone in the hours she was detained by hospital security.

He says she never walked into a patients room, or the nursery, she stayed in the hall area. And when security questioned her at both hospitals, Villarreal says she immediately revealed her identity and showed a reporter's badge.

"Before we escorted her out we confirmed through her news station badge and pulling up on the website to see if she really worked for who she said she did," says Caytie Martin, spokeswoman for Northwest Texas Hospital.

Even though Villarreal says Jones did not break the law, hospital officials wouldn't take any chances.

"Infant abduction is a very serious business in hospitals and we don't take it lightly. We commend hospital staff and police for the way they handled this situation. Nothing more important that patient safety," says Mary Barlow, spokeswoman for Baptist Saint Anthony's Hospital.

"Our security force can detain people they're licensed under the Texas Department of Public Safety as a security company, we have the right to detain and hold people for the police," says Larry Barlow, the Director of Security at Baptist Saint Anthony's Hospital.

Once Jones was detained, Villarreal says he left the hospital area because he didn't want to cause any trouble.

NewsChannel 10 was there as Jones met with a bail bondsman this afternoon. She is out of jail and has returned to Lubbock. We've also learned Jones was wearing an hidden camera while inside Northwest Texas Hospital and B.S.A.

If police release that video, we will try to bring that to you.

Undercover Investigations Done in other markets.     NewsChannel 10 consults with a world wide television research and consulting firm. Frank N. Magid and Associates does viewer research across the country and undercover investigative reporting is something that is done quite often in other television markets. This according to senior consultant Julie Kraft. She tells us a good reason to do a story like this is because of recent events such as the infant kidnappings in Lubbock. Kraft says some viewers like, some don't and some demand it in other cities. What they (KCBD) have done is nothing beyond the ordinary in many markets, says Kraft.

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