Using his video camera, a Maine photojournalist confronted a prowler who had just stepped out of his neighbor’s home, peppering him with questions until the suspect ran off.
Instead of chasing after him, Lewiston Sun Journal photographer Russ Billingham showed his footage to police, who were able to identify the suspect as a man on probation.
According to the Lewiston Sun Journal:
Adonia Richard Labbe, 34, of 76 Knox St., Lewiston, was charged with a probation hold at 10:45 a.m. Monday, according to police. Lewiston police Lt. Michael McGonagle said Labbe was identified by investigators as the man in the video and admitted stealing a nail gun from a yard when confronted by officers.
McGonagle said there may be additional charges against Labbe. But as of Monday afternoon, he said investigators had not yet determined where the nail gun was stolen from and no one reported the equipment missing. McGonagle said investigators also determined that Labbe entered an abandoned home on Sabattus Street.
Russ Dillingham, chief photographer for the Lewiston Sun Journal, said he was working Friday night when his wife, Ann, called him about a strange man hovering outside their neighbor’s home on Bardwell Street.
In 2007, Billingham was written about in USA Today after he captured a car-theft suspect.
A newspaper photographer captured dramatic images of a car-theft suspect jumping from a third-floor balcony — then captured the fugitive himself.
Police praised Sun Journal photographer Russ Dillingham for tackling the man they were chasing and holding him until officers arrived. Afterward, Dillingham took more photos of the man being handcuffed.
“I always kind of wondered what I’d do in a situation like that,” said Dillingham, a news photographer for 25 years. “But you don’t even think about it. You just react.”
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CARLOS MILLER’S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
I am immersed in a legal case where I not only want to clear my criminal charges stemming from my arrest in January, but I want to sue the Miami-Dade Police Department for deleting my footage, which I was able to recover.
My goal is to set some type of precedent to ensure this does not happen as often as it does today where cops simply get away with it.
So if you would like to contribute, please click on the “donate” button below and contribute whatever you can afford.
You can also contribute to my Legal Defense Fund by purchasing a photographer rights lens cloth and/or laminated card to wear around your neck like a press badge through Zap Rag.Please write “carlos3” in the comments section of the Paypal transaction to ensure I receive a portion of the sale.