Journalist says man with a gun chased him in Detroit - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Journalist says man with a gun chased him in Detroit

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By Ron Savage
Fox 2 News Reporter

DETROIT (WJBK) -- Steve Neavling is the man behind the government watchdog website MotorCityMuckraker.com.  He says while he was working on a story in Detroit, he was chased at high speeds by a guy wielding a gun.

"Working on a story about undeserved communities, and one of the undeserved communities that's particularly ravaged is this area around Seven Mile and Gratiot," he explained.

"House after house after house is abandoned.  There's garbage strewn all over the place.  Fire hydrants don't work.  Trees are falling over the street, so I thought we really need to bring this to light and let people know look how these people are living."

As Neavling was photographing the neighborhood, early in the afternoon he was confronted by a guy.

"I'm driving and I'm taking some photographs of some buildings, and this guy pulls up to me," the journalist explained.  "He's like, 'What the hell are you doing in my neighborhood?  I want to see your pictures.'  And, of course, I said, 'No, you can't see my camera.'"

Neavling was already in his car at this point and the guy had driven up in his red Chevy pickup.

"He demanded that I give him the camera and he wanted to see what pictures I was taking, and I said, 'No way, I can't do that.'  I explained I'm a journalist."

"At that point, he pulled out a gun, and I immediately floored my car and took off until we were speeding through the stop signs."

Neavling says it was a chase that would make Hollywood producers, but he was understandably frightened.

"We were going 75 miles an hour through stop signs in this maze of streets I had never seen in my life," he told us.  "I called 911 and I said, 'I just had a gun pointed at me.  There's a crazy guy in a pickup truck... "putting everybody's lives in danger.  Can you please send somebody out?'"

"Nobody took the report," he added.  "In a city that is the most dangerous in America, we can't get police to figure out who files a police report."

Neavling called 911.  911 told him it was an incident for the city's crime reporting system.  He called there.  They told him it was an incident 911 should handle.  So both operators disagreed with each other and no report was taken.

Neavling was also an investigative reporter for seven years with the Detroit Free Press.

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