A local TV news outlet has fired one of its top reporters after he was arrested for public defecation. CBS 5 (KPHO) news director Dan Wilson confirmed to New Times via e-mail today that reporter Jonathan Lowe "no longer works for the station."
When New Times wrote about the bizarre incident, which occurred while Lowe was on assignment, no other local news outlet had covered the arrest. Since then, the story has gone viral, with versions appearing online at national and international news sites including the New York Daily News, the Washington Times, TMZ.com, and the Daily Mail.
(Not at the Arizona Republic, though. Sources tell New Times that the state's largest daily had a copy of the police report early on, but editors there turned up their noses at covering the story.)
The Goodyear Police Department's report on Lowe's arrest adds to what is already known about the reporter's crappy Monday. Officer David Mitterbauer writes that he spoke to witness Andrea Waters at the scene at about 3:30 p.m. At that time, Waters told Mitterbauer that a news van had been parked in front of her residence "for about 40 minutes," when a man she recognized as CBS 5 reporter Jonathan Lowe exited the vehicle.
Waters watched as Lowe "picked up several papers" from the ground and then walked across the street to the house opposite hers. She saw Lowe "approach the side of the front yard, squat while leaning against the wall of the residence and proceed to defecate in the yard of the residence," after which, he "stood up and walked back to the news van."
Writes Mitterbauer: "Andrea stated that if Jonathan had knocked on their door, she would have let him use their bathroom."
When the officer approached Lowe at the news van, he recounts, the journalist told him, "I know what you want me to talk to me about. I've been feeling very sick and I've been stuck in this van all day. So I went over to that person's yard and took care of business. Those people who called on me just wanted to start problems."
Mitterbauer further notes that he informed Lowe there was a Fry's Marketplace located "less than a mile a way" where he could have availed himself of the facilities. Lowe, however, told the officer "he couldn't leave the area."
Whereupon Mitterbauer advised Lowe that he was under arrest, and the reporter was cuffed and transported to the Goodyear Police Station, where he was booked, cited, and released.
Before leaving the scene of the crime, Mitterbauer states, a fellow officer "took three photographs of the scene and impounded them into Goodyear property."
The TV news gossip site FTVLive.com, which broke the original story of Lowe's arrest, also published what appears to be a screenshot of an internal CBS 5 memo stating that Lowe is "no longer an employee" and "no longer has access to the building."
Lowe, who is 33, hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, and has worked in newsrooms in North Carolina and Michigan, in addition to Arizona. His CBS 5 bio, which has been removed from the station's website, indicated that he had won plaudits in the past for his reporting. One CBS 5 employee told New Times, on condition of anonymity, that Lowe was well-liked at the station and admired for his work ethic.
Lowe's career may be in the can, but one A.J. Silvia won't be crying any tears for the sidelined newshound.
Silvia owns the home where Lowe allegedly divested himself of the pantload.
Silvia tells New Times he wasn't home when the shit hit the sand, but the neighbor who reported Lowe to authorities gave him the poop. He says CBS 5's Wilson phoned to apologize about the incident, but so far he hasn't heard from Lowe.
The homeowner says he lives a few houses down from the former ASU football player who reportedly killed his dog and put it in a meat smoker because God commanded it. The man's arrest over the weekend had drawn TV news reporters like flies to...well, you know. That ticked off just about everyone who lives in the residential area.
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"I'm not part of [that] news story," Silvia says. “He had no right being on my property, let alone turning my front yard into a toilet."
Silvia says the station offered to send someone to clean up the mess days later, but he'd already taken care of it. He sees no excuse for Lowe's behavior, nor that of other TV news crews who, he says, were “tromping on people's yards,” annoying residents.
Silvia also thinks he knows why Lowe dropped trou without bothering to knock on someone's door or drive to a shopping center that's "not even 60 seconds by car."
"I'm sure he thought he would lose some scoop to some other reporter," Silvia says. "Instead, I got the scoop."