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Clashes with officials lead to arrest, confiscation of film

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Clashes with officials lead to arrest, confiscation of film 07/28/97 OHIO--In separate incidents, a photographer and a reporter from The…

Clashes with officials lead to arrest, confiscation of film

07/28/97

OHIO–In separate incidents, a photographer and a reporter from The Columbus Dispatch clashed with Ohio law enforcement officials, who arrested and jailed the reporter and confiscated the film of the Dispatch photographer and another freelance photographer.

An Ohio state prison guard seized the film belonging to Dispatch photographer Mike Munden and to Chris Kasson, a freelance photographer representing the Associated Press, who in early July were both taking pictures of a fire at the state prison in Orient. In the second incident, Columbus police in mid-July charged Dispatch reporter Dean Narciso with one count each of misconduct in an emergency and resisting arrest as he reported on a hostage crisis.

A spokesman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said officers always confiscate film taken in a restricted area. Kasson told the Associated Press that the corrections officer threatened to arrest the two photographers if the film was not turned over. The film was returned to the photographers approximately an hour and a half later, and they told AP that it did not appear to be tampered with.

In Columbus, Narciso arrived at a hostage scene where a man allegedly armed with a gun had barricaded himself inside a home and was holding a child hostage.

After receiving a neighbor’s permission, Narciso entered the neighbor’s yard to observe the situation. According to the police report as reported in the Dispatch, Narciso tried to run when three officers approached him as he crouched in the yard.

The report states that the officers grabbed him, forcing him to the ground to handcuff him. The report does not indicate if the officers warned the reporter to leave before arresting and jailing him.

Narciso is scheduled to appear in Franklin County Municipal Court in late July. (Docket No. 18501-97)