NewsNation Trying to Get Reporter Evan Lambert Released From Jail

Evan Lambert NewsNation
NewsNation correspondent Evan Lambert being led away by police (Image credit: NewsNation)

NewsNation said it is making efforts to free correspondent Evan Lambert who was arrested Wednesday and charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct while shooting a live shot covering a train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio.

UPDATE: Lambert was released from jail late Wednesday. Authorities were expected to release a statement about the incident.

According to NewsNation, Lambert had been covering the train crash all week. He was doing a live shot in the back of the room during a press conference being conducted by the Ohio Emergency Management Agency in a local school gymnasium. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was speaking at the press conference at the time.

Lambert was told to stop by the police and then pushed to the ground, cuffed and arrested. He was put in a patrol car.

The entire incident was recorded by NewsNation.

Preston Swigart, a photographer who was with Lambert, told NewsNation that Lambert was approached by police. They asked Lambert to stop talking. 

“From their standpoint, he didn’t obey orders when he was told to stop talking,” Swigart said. “Gymnasiums are echoey and loud and sound kind of carries, so I’m guessing that they just didn’t like the fact that there was sound competing with the governor speaking, even though it was all the way at the other end of the room.”

ABC News said DeWine was asked during the press conference about the incident and the governor, who did not see the arrest occur, defended Lambert. "All I can say is that person had a right to be reporting; they should have been allowed to report," DeWine said. "If they were in any way hampered from reporting, that certainly is wrong, and it is not anything I approve; in fact, I vehemently disapprove of it." ABC said the governor's office said DeWine did not ask for police to intervene with Lambert.

In a statement, NewsNation Washington, D.C., bureau chief Mike Viqueira said he spoke with Lambert, who called from the Columbiana County Jail.

“First, Evan is safe and calm, and continues to act with professionalism and integrity that he brings to his work each day. As you see from the videos, he was doing his job – what hundreds of journalists do without incident – reporting to the public on a matter of urgent, critical interest to our audience,” Viqueira said.

Viqueira said local official have told Lambert the earliest he can be release is 8:30 am ET on Thursday.

“Every effort is being made to assist Evan and secure his release as soon as possible,” Viqueira said. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.