The Perils Of Investigative Reporting - FOX 35 News Orlando

FOX 11 Investigates

The Perils Of Investigative Reporting

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Los Angeles, CA -

Working the investigative unit is not an easy job. Aside from all the extensive research involved in putting just a story together, you have to interview people who want nothing to do with you. Those unscheduled interviews or 'confrontations' as they are often called are always unpredictable. 

Sometimes, people will try to convince you that they are innocent of everything they're being accused of. Other times, they'll say nothing. 

And on the rare occasion, they'll try to attack. I once had a guy come at me with a screwdriver. For that reason, every time I'm about to do what I know will be an uncomfortable interview, my heart begins to race. The unknown always puts me on edge.

On the day I was to cover the case of the 22 defendants accused of running one of the largest mortgage fraud schemes in the country, I knew we were up for another challenge. We had exposed their operation nearly a year ago with our undercover work.

We spent days with many of the victims who paid between $12,000-15,000 dollars to save their homes from foreclosure. Detectives found no evidence the defendants ever tried to save their properties. Many of the families ended up homeless in what appears to be a case of pure greed.

So, as they began to walk out of the Criminal courthouse, we approached each one of them. And that's when the circus began. One covered her face with a jacket. Another took off running. Family members began to push, shove, smack and block us from trying to interview the defendants.

Still, we were focused on speaking with one of the alleged leaders, Franklin Marquez. As we were all walking--nearly running, I lost my balance. Immediately, I knew I was in trouble! It was almost like I was launched up, and then came crashing down. The thump...very loud! Everyone around me seemed horrified. Probably fearing I had broken something. Suddenly, I heard Marquez say, "You got what you deserved!" Oh, that didn't sit well with me. I got up right away and continued to ask more questions before he ran back inside the court house. Yes, I was hurt but thank God, no bones were broken. 

In the end, I learned a valuable lesson. Always wear flat shoes when doing investigatve reporting.

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