Things had gotten out of hand in Keene, New Hampshire over the weekend, as riots broke out at the local Pumpkin Festival. Cars were overturned, fires were set, and injuries were reported in connection to the annual fall event.
This stress-filled environment may have sent the festival coordinator Ruth Sterling a little bit off her rocker, as she threatened and accosted a local news reporter—all while the cameras were rolling!
An independent reporter for Channel 8’s Ceshire TV—a public access program—spent hours covering the rioting and violence at the Keene Pumpkin Festival, only to be accosted on camera by Sterling.
Jared Goodell had already been broadcasting from the festival for eight hours when he tried to interview Sterling. As he attempted to introduce her to the camera, Sterling began to aggressively block Goodell from the camera’s sightline and made grabs at his microphone.
Despite this, Goodell maintained his composure as best he could.
“Right now Ruth Sterling who is the festival coordinator is on site here, and is being uh, well, she’s not letting me do my job and to report to you,” he said as he dodged back and forth to side-step Sterling.
Sterling grabbed the microphone, and frantically told viewers that the Pumpkin Festival was a family-friendly event and “one hundred percent safe.”
Then her voice took a dangerously threatening tone as she turned to Goodell:
“So if you think that inciting these people is a good idea, I am going to pull the plug on you. Because you are here as a guest of Keene Pumpkin Festival and I assigned you this spot. Do not alarm our guests.”
“You heard it here first everybody,” said Goodell, saying that the people in charge wanted to shut him down for reporting reality. “This is against freedom of the press, folks.”
Students from the state’s colleges and universities, and drunken visitors, have largely been blamed for the destruction, arrests, and injuries reported during the annual event. Rioters have thrown liquor bottles, set fire to things, and flipped cars, while police have turned to riot gear and tear gas to try to subdue the total mayhem.
Reports from Free Keene say that Goodell spent over $5,000 of his own money on production costs to cover the festival events as they unfolded.