Technical.ly Baltimore

Dec. 3, 2012 9:30 am

Baltimore Spectator: citizen journalist Frank James MacArthur live tweets standoff with Baltimore city police

Frank James MacArthur At 6 p.m. Saturday, Baltimore city police and a police SWAT team had surrounded the home of blogger and citizen journalist Frank James MacArthur, intending to “serve a warrant issued in June by his probation agent stemming from a 2009 gun case and another for subsequent failure to appear in court,” according […]

Frank James MacArthur

At 6 p.m. Saturday, Baltimore city police and a police SWAT team had surrounded the home of blogger and citizen journalist Frank James MacArthur, intending to “serve a warrant issued in June by his probation agent stemming from a 2009 gun case and another for subsequent failure to appear in court,” according to the Baltimore Sun.

While serving a warrant is a routine job for police to carry out, it became slightly more complicated Saturday night once MacArthur, who apparently knew the city police were coming for him, refused to leave his house right away, and then took to social media.

For five hours, MacArthur, who goes by @BaltoSpectator on Twitter, live-tweeted and streamed the audio of his standoff with city police, much of which featured him negotiating his terms of surrender with Baltimore police lieutenant Jason Yerg.

Listen to the audio recording of MacArthur’s standoff with city police

“By 10 p.m.,” reports Baltimore City Paper, “thou­sands of peo­ple were lis­ten­ing to MacArthur’s live broad­cast of his own nego­ti­ation with the Bal­ti­more Police Lieutenant Jason Yerg, who was tasked with talk­ing the 47-year-old blog­ger out of his home. MacArthur gained 2,500 twit­ter fol­low­ers  (he had 4,666 as of 11 a.m. Sun­day) and report­edly some 20,000 peo­ple tuned into the inter­net radio stream on Spreaker.com, embed­ded at MacArthur’s blog.”

Around 11 p.m. Saturday, the standoff ended when MacArthur came out of his house in the Waverly neighborhood and was taken into custody peacefully. According to a tweet sent Sunday afternoon by Baltimore Sun reporter Kevin Rector, Baltimore city police “are recommending state’s attorney file new charge against [MacArthur] after finding a sawed-off shotgun in his home.” A later Sun story confirmed that police found a shotgun and ammunition inside MacArthur’s home.

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Andrew Zaleski

Andrew Zaleski is Technically Baltimore's lead reporter. Before joining Technically Baltimore, he was digital media editor for Urbanite magazine. He graduated from Loyola University Maryland in May 2011.

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