Story goes viral after man scoops up hundreds of newspapers in attempt to hide DWI arrest
What could have a been a small story last week about a DWI arrest in Wayne County – one you would read and shake you head over – has had a “viral” impact.
Our story last week about a Newark man, who was charged with DWI made the front page because of his attitude with State Troopers and his refusal to have a mug shot taken, as it might be used in “that rag” (his reference to our fine newspaper).
Here is a recap of the story:
This driver was not happy that the State Trooper out of Lyons was arresting him for Driving While intoxicated. He was also upset that his mug shot would be in that “rag” (The Wayne County Times) and that the Trooper and the paper would ruin his family.
It all began when State Police received a report of a driver swerving on Route 31 in Palmyra at 10:07 p.m. on Thursday (12/29). The trooper found the vehicle, swerving over the center line and onto the shoulder of the road. The vehicle finally stopped after traveling a distance down the shoulder of Route 31.
Subsequently, Joseph Talbot, age 43, of West Avenue in Newark failed roadside sobriety tests and was arrested for DWI. He refused a roadside pre-screen breath test and station breath test to determine his blood alcohol level.
Once at the State Police barracks, Talbot told the Trooper he was an “asshole” and was ruining his family. He refused to have his fingerprints and mug shot taken and his rant was that he might be included in the Times with his arrest and mug shot.
The troopers explained that, by refusing to have his prints and mug shot taken, he would only make it a bigger story in the paper. Following Talbot’s refusal to be processed, he was additionally charged with misdemeanor Obstruction of Governmental Administration in the 2nd Degree, along with the DWI and traffic violations.
Talbot was arraigned and remanded to jail on $750 cash/$1500 bond to reappear in Palmyra Town Court on February 1st. He was also issued an appearance ticket for Lyons Town Court on the Obstruction charge.
Talbot was, of course, embarrassed and was hoping to keep people from seeing the story. So….he decided to follow our delivery trucks and buy out all the Times from newsstands in Newark.
The Times staff received a call from one of the stands (Joey’s Northside) in Newark, saying a man, who they recognized from the front page photo, had just come in a bought up all their papers. Editor, Ron Holdraker, called a few other newsstands and found that it seemed to be a pattern.
With several hundred papers left at the office from a print overrun, he loaded his car and drove to Newark to see where a void existed. The Wegmans grocery store in Newark, who generally receives 250 papers, showed the shelf to be empty! He left about 150 more. The next stops at ExpressMart, KwikFill, Bodine’s Market, Arrowmart, Joey’s Northside all were replenished, as they were also depleted.
When Ron returned to the office, the story, which was also on our website (waynetimes.com) had been picked up by our news partners, 13WHAM news. They ran the story of the “Newark man, arrested for DWI, allegedly refuses mug shot to avoid publication”. The story was mentioned on their newscast and their Facebook page. The ABC affiliate stations picked up on the story as did the the Associated Press. Other news stations and affiliates followed suit.
Soon, the small story in a local newspaper, was making national news…all because the newsmaker wanted to keep things quiet.
As on Thursday, NBC’s Today Show featured the story on its “Trending Now” section, the New York Post published the story, the Washington Post, and Time magazine’s on-line edition, ran with it. The “Inside Edition” TV show and several national news media called the Times to interview our Editor about the story. A google search of “Man tries to buy papers to hide arrest” showed 22 hits, including… Britain’s Daily Mail!
All mentioned that calls made to Mr. Talbot’s phone went unanswered and messages were not returned.