Saturday, March 15, 2008

Conservative Talk Radio Station Attacked by Angry Listener


Around 1 PM during the airing of Conservative Radio Host Lars Larson’s Friday show, witnesses observed an older model Toyota Corrolla slam into the front of Portland, Oregon’s KXL 750 AM radio station, backing up and slamming it again.

It was about 1 PM Friday, March 14, when KXL’s receptionist, Leann Wheatley noticed movement from the corner of her eye. Looking up she saw the White Toyota come crashing through the glass front of the stations lobby, showering glass all over the lobby. Ms. Wheatley wasn’t injured but was left shaken by the experience.

Witnesses outside said the car smashed into the building three times before taking off. Witnesses took down the license plate of the car, tracking the owner to neighboring Vancouver, Washington after the license number was released to the public.

By 3 PM Vancouver Police had a 30 year-old man in custody, detaining him for “mental evaluation.” Police have not released the man’s name nor if he was the driver of the car.

According to a station employee, KXL had been receiving threats from a particular person for a number of years over their programming, leading station management to believe the incident may be tied to the threats.

P.K., one of the morning personalities at the station said,

"About four years ago we started getting e-mails about how he doesn't like the morning show. And once very six months we'd get death threats. We got one last Wednesday, which was just a bunch of nothingness, you know. I think he was talking about throwing babies in hot oil. It was just nothing. We didn't read it. We just threw it away. We thought it was one of his rants and next thing we know we're at lunch and somebody drove a car through a window."


Although the incident happened during Conservative Lars Larson’s Friday Show, he is not believed to have been a target.

Sgt. Brian Schmautz, of the Portland Police Bureau, who notified Police in Clark County Washington, said the 30 year-old was detained but not arrested or charged with a crime. The case will most likely be taken before a Grand Jury, he added.

Kevin Allen, managing editor in KXL’s newsroom, said they weren’t exactly sure what the man was upset about Friday, but said that in previous calls from the man to the station, he’d made death threats.

The station broadcasts a number of talk shows, many political, including Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Roger Hedgecock and Lars Larson.

Lars Larson has placed audio of an interview he did shortly after the attack with Ms. Wheatley on his website, LarsLarson.com

Other local coverage at: The Columbian; KATU TV News;

2 comments:

The Gentle Cricket said...

This is unfortunate. Lars is a wonderful American. When I used to live in Oregon I would listen to him every day during my drives to and from work (local and national shows). I'm glad noone was hurt.

Lew Waters said...

Cricket, it's great to hear from you again. I hope all is going well in Med School for you.

As for the nutcase that rammed the station, I'm still waiting to see if they ever release a reason he did it.