A police reporter for The Fayetteville Observer was charged this week with resisting an officer after being told repeatedly to leave the scene of a homicide investigation.
The reporter, Robert Boyer, said Sgt. W.C. Owen asked him three or four times to move away from a house on Malloy Street, where a body had been found about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. Two men have been charged in the murder.
According to the Observer’s account, Boyer said yellow police tape had been placed around the front of the house. He said he told Owen that he had not crossed over the tape and was not interfering with the crime scene.
Boyer said he told Owen he had a right to gather information outside a crime scene and would not leave unless he was arrested or the crime scene was expanded.
”The sergeant asked him numerous times to leave and explained to him this was a crime scene,” said Philip Cannady, the assistant police chief. ”At that point, Bob should have left. At that point, the sergeant had no other choice but to arrest him.”
Managing Editor Mike Arnholt said Boyer was trying to do his job.
”He had gone to a crime scene after midnight to get information about a murder,” Arnholt said. “He identified himself to the officers on site. I regret that they ordered him away rather than trying to help him and that he was arrested.”
Boyer was taken in handcuffs to the magistrate’s office in the Cumberland County Detention Center, where he was photographed, charged with the misdemeanor and released without having to post bail. Boyer said he called a taxi to take him back to his car.