Goodyear Police arrested CBS 5 journo Jonathan Lowe Monday afternoon while he was on assignment, reporting on a former Arizona State University football player who allegedly sacrificed the family dog by putting him in a smoker in order to appease an angry God.
That doesn't begin to explain the kind of day Lowe was having, however.
"Lowe chose to use the front yard of a residence to relieve himself," Goodyear Police Department spokeswoman Lisa Kutis tells New Times. "An onlooker from across the street called it in to officers. They approached him, he said he'd had to relieve himself, and they arrested him."
Lowe was handcuffed and taken to the Goodyear Police station, where he was booked, cited, and released. Kutis says Lowe was cited under Goodyear code violation 11-1-30, "public urination or defecation," a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 or six months in jail.
Yes, we know what you're thinking.
Goodyear police haven't released the arrest report, but the department confirms that the citation was for defecation. Kutis says the arrest took place at about 3:10 p.m., and that at the time various media outlets had been "in the neighborhood of the home where the dog incident took place."
News of Lowe's arrest was reported by TV news industry gossip site FTVLive.com, which published a photo of the reporter being taken away in handcuffs beneath the headline "Cops Bust the Potty Reporter." A subsequent article on the site claimed Lowe's arrest "was the talk inside the Phoenix newsrooms" and that "two competing stations had video of Lowe being lead [sic] away."
FTVLive.com writer Scott Jones asked, "If the Mayor of Goodyear or Phoenix was arrested for pooping in public, would those stations have covered the story? So, why when a public figure like Lowe is arrested, did stations sit on the news?"
When New Times tried to reach Lowe by phone at the newsroom, we were told he wasn't in. CBS 5 news director Dan Wilson declined to comment directly about Lowe's arrest, describing it as a "personnel issue." Wilson did say that Lowe is still employed by the station "as of right now."
Asked why the station didn't report on the arrest, Wilson said it was because the police report had yet to be released and CBS 5 was still assessing the situation.
"Without a police report, we are waiting to make editorial decisions based on more information, and so we're looking for that information," Wilson explains.
A CBS 5 employee, who asked not to be named, tells New Times the incident was discussed in an editorial meeting informing staffers of what happened. The employee says Lowe has the reputation of being "a good reporter," and that it was "sad" that the work he has done would be marred by what happened Monday.
Lowe's bio on CBS 5's website states that he was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has worked as an assignment editor, anchor, and reporter for TV stations in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Saginaw, Michigan. "[H]e brings a bit of southern hospitality and charm to the desert southwest," the bio reads.
It remains to be seen whether he left something other than hospitality and charm in a yard in Goodyear.
Update 5/20/16 1:20 p.m.: For the latest on this story, read the follow-up here.