AZ Marshal Threatens Preteen Reporter with Juvie, Reportedly Says: 'I Don't Want to Hear About Any of That Freedom of the Press Stuff'

Posting a recording of the interaction to the internet would be illegal, the marshal said.


Orange Street News/Facebook

A preteen journalist who's been profiled in multiple national outlets claims an Arizona law enforcement officer threatened her with imprisonment. The reporter, Hilde Lysiak, caught part of the exchange on camera, and Marshal Joseph Patterson can be heard telling her that it would be illegal for her to post the video to the internet.

Lysiak, born in 2006, is publisher of the Orange Street News, a Pennsylvania-based local newspaper that she's been running since December 2014. While in Patagonia, Arizona, this week, Lysiak had a contentious encounter with Patterson. Lysiak claimed in a post on her newspaper's website that she was looking into a tip when Patterson stopped her and asked for identification. She didn't specify what the tip was about, though a February 15 story on her website reported on a mountain lion sighting in Patagonia. Patterson also mentioned the lion in the video she posted.

"I don't want to hear about any of that freedom of the press stuff," Lysiak claims Patterson said after she told him she was a reporter and gave him her name and phone number. "I'm going to have you arrested and thrown in juvie," he reportedly said. After asking what she had done to prompt a potential arrest, Lysiak says:

[T]he officer first said it was for "disobeying his command," then said it was for riding on the wrong side of the road. Finally, the officer said a Mountain Lion was spotted in the area despite [there] being other people in the area who were not kicked off the road.

At some point, Lysiak started taping, and the video she posted to YouTube reveals Patterson was not happy about it.

"You stopped me earlier and said that I could be thrown in juvie," Lysiak tells Patterson, who at that point is in his truck.

"You can be," Patterson says.

"What exactly am I doing that's illegal?" she asks. Patterson starts to explain, before apparently realizing Lysiak is recording him.

"You can tape me," he says on the video, but "if you put my face on the internet, it's against the law." He adds, "I'm not giving you permission to use my picture or my face on the internet."

Patterson then berates Lysiak for following him. "Don't follow law enforcement," he says, before claiming he didn't "want you to get hurt":

"I'm looking out for your safety," Patterson says in the video. "The area you were in, is where we're dealing with the mountain lion." When Lysiak again asks what she had done that was illegal, Patterson claims she "disobeyed" his "direct order." Before the video ends, Patterson warns Lysiak that he'll "be getting ahold of your parents."

"You aren't an adult so don't act like," Patterson said, according to Lysiak's post. That final statement was not captured on video.

On its website, the Town of Patagonia notes that it "carefully reviewed" the situation and has "taken action we believe to be appropriate," though it does not say what that action is. The town's website also mentions an Arizona law prohibiting people from posting personal information, including photographs, of peace officers to the internet. However, this is only illegal "if the dissemination of the personal information poses an imminent and serious threat to" that person or his immediate family. In this case, it's difficult to imagine that Lysiak's video poses any sort of safety threat to Patterson.

As KPNX noted, it's generally legal in Arizona to film interactions with police officers. "It is perfectly legal [to] post such a photo online," First Amendment Coalition of Arizona lawyer Dan Barr told Nogales International, referring to Lysiak's recording. "I hope this is not reflective of the Patagonia marshal threatening people with other nonexistent criminal violations," he added. Nogales International pointed out that Patterson is the same marshal who made similar threats against a protester who videotaped him near a Border Patrol checkpoint in 2013.

For Lysiak, it's far from the first time she's been in the spotlight. The young reporter, who's been profiled in the Washington Post and The New York Times, broke a murder story in 2016, when she was just 9 years old. Scholastic has published several mystery books based on her experiences, and Apple has ordered a mystery drama starring Brooklynn Prince as Lysiak.

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  1. The young reporter, who’s been profiled in the Washington Post and The New York Times, broke a murder story in 2016, when she was just 9 years old. Scholastic has published several mystery books based on her experiences, and Apple has ordered a mystery drama starring Brooklynn Prince as Lysiak.

    Marshall Numbnuts went up against a fucking celebrity. lol

    1. Marshall Numbnuts should have just sued her for libel.

      1. Still reeling from that kicking you took I see.

        1. Regardless of the subject’s age, this “free speech” stuff we keep hearing about is indeed exaggerated and should not be used as an excuse. Next thing we know, celebrities will be sending out inappropriately deadpan “parodies” and will invoke their “First Amendment” rights when they get arrested. See the documentation of our nation’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

      2. Marshall numbnuts should have claimed he was attacked by maga hat-wearing teenagers, then he’d have gotten a 3000 word sympathy story in the Washington Post.

        1. Not sure *all* 3,000 were lies. Perhaps “and” and “the’ weren’t.

          1. You’re supposed to wait for the setup, then make the joke. You got greedy.

    2. I rather doubt she is behaving as you alledge……. my guess is she’s far smarter than to be sleeping about. Got more important things to be about…..

      Broke a murder story at nine? Impressive. And she’s just 13 now, after details on a big cat situation. Hmph,,,, this girl;s got more spunk and chutzpah than most adults. She also seemed to know her rights, and did well to stand up to this abusive punk copper. Good on her.

  2. starring Brooklynn Prince as Lysiak

    They ought to get Brooklyn Decker.

    1. So you can be physically attracted to a twelve-year-old? Telling.

  3. He just didn’t want everyone to know he’s actually Veep actor Matt Walsh.

  4. >>>”disobeyed” his “direct order.”

    Arizona = Marines?


      1. YOU want me in this truck. YOU need me in this truck….

        1. We live in a world that has mountain lions and those mountain lions need to be guarded by men with guns.

          1. I’ve known some GIRLS as young or younger than this one can defend themselves quite ably with their own guns. Trouble, is, for some strange reason, ALL “young persons” are considered to behave after the same standards as the typical US junior hi spoilt brat. This one seems to be made of different stuff, and I suspect this crazy copper thought he was up against the typical smartaleck kid…. and was miffed when she stood her ground.

            Given the choice between having this cop, or her, as a help in time of need (for example, suppose the big cat DID come pawing round the corner of the next block….) I’d dump this worthless blustering cop and choose the girl who has some moxie… and is probably a good shot, into the bargain.

  5. These dipshit cops don’t even know the law but they do know enough that recording them will get them fired.

  6. Isn’t this Lenore’s beat?

    1. I just realized, Lenore is the chick in The Raven.


  7. Arizona doesn’t have Marshal’s. That may be what Patagonia calls their police force – but those aren’t *Arizona* Marshal’s – which would imply a state-level organization like the “Texas Rangers”. Patagonia is also full of woo-loving hippies and are, frankly, more than a little pretentious. So it wouldn’t surprise me if they wanted (as some other places in Arizona) to use the more archaic ‘Marshal’ in place of ‘Police Officer’. Though Marshal also tends to imply a lot more autonomy than a city-level law enforcement officer would ever have.

    1. Holy shit, there are only 4 police forces in all of Arizona that style themselves as ‘Marshals’ and wouldn’t you know it – every one is in a tourist trap town.

      1. So Winslow, Mesa, Apache junction and sun City?

        1. “Sir, we’re conducting a Wild West Adventure here, rounding up all the drunk tourists and taking their photos.”

        2. Apache Junction – “The Place Meth Was Invented!”

  8. She’s not too smart though since she posted a video of herself jumping a border fence into Mexico.

    1. She may be dumb, but at least she isn’t wasting time in front of the TV eating unhealthy foods.

      1. Of course, a kid her age probably doesn’t know what a TV *is,* so I should have said “computer.”

        1. What’s a computer?

  9. Kids gotta learn to respect dah authoratah!

  10. Technically the police officer is right. Peons are expected to obey every command issued by the king’s men, even if the command is unlawful. Because it’s not the peon’s place to decide what is lawful or unlawful. Furthermore the king’s man can justifiably murder anyone who fails to obey, because failure to obey is a direct threat to the knight’s safety. Obey or die, then challenge the unlawful command in court later. If you can afford it. And nothing else happens.

  11. At least he didn’t torture her with a taser and arrest her for resisting arrest and assault.

    1. “Stop assaulting my fists with your face or I’ll shoot you!”

  12. Thank God her dog wasn’t with her, cause….you know.

  13. That LEO lied to a little girl!

  14. Patterson must be a Progressive, since he seems to have learned nothing, and remembered nothing.
    Perhaps he could “learn to code”?

    1. is that secret code for doing a whole lot of nothing whilst appearing to be doing a whole lot of something that no one else can figure out what it is you are doing, the whiles sucking at the public teat and stacking up overtime to double the ratioins dumped into the trough each month? Sounds like a government worker to me.

      Hah, when the government “shut down” these last two times, we realised we didn’t need 80% of it. Got along just fine and dandy with all those workers visibly doing nothing instead of visibly doing something whilst actually doing nothing.

  15. 99% of cops give the other 1% a bad name.

  16. Editorial intereference much?

    1. First off, congrats to young Hilde for getting an apology from the city government of Patagonia, AZ:

    2. First off, congrats to young Hilde for getting an apology from the city government of Patagonia, AZ:

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