Maine photographer who videotaped suspected thief has a bit of a crime-fighting streak

Poynter | Associated Press

Sun Journal photojournalist Russ Dillingham became the subject of a story in his own paper when he approached a suspicious man in Lewiston, Maine, attempted a citizen's arrest and videotaped the incident. Police recognized the suspected thief from the video and arrested him.



It turns out that wasn't Dillingham's first time fighting crime. A reader sent me a 2007 Associated Press story that describes how Dillingham tackled a car-theft suspect fleeing police.

Police praised Sun Journal photographer Russ Dillingham for tackling the man they were chasing and holding him until officers arrived. Afterward, Dillingham took more photos of the man being handcuffed.

"I always kind of wondered what I'd do in a situation like that," said Dillingham, a news photographer for 25 years. "But you don't even think about it. You just react."

Dillingham, 47, entered the newsroom to a round of applause on Thursday, then went back to work on his regular assignments, said Judith Meyer, the newspaper's managing editor.

The Sun Journal has no formal policy that covers such situations, she said. Though the newspaper would never ask a reporter or photographer to intervene under the circumstances, it found no fault in his actions.

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.

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