Monday, August 02, 2010

When life imitates the 6 o'clock news

You can't make this stuff up.

Last week, Lisa Hayward, a little known TV anchor/newsreader gets popped for DUI.

If you've never heard of her, you might be asking yourself, "why does that name sound familiar?"

Well, that's because she's married to none other than WSVN ace crime reporter Derek Hayward, a 19 year veteran of the station.

And in one of those Only In South Florida plot twists to the story, we learn today that Derek has also been arrested - for domestic violence.
Three days after former WPBF-Channel 25 anchorwoman Lisa Hayward was arrested for DUI, her husband, Miami’s WSVN-Channel 7 reporter Derek Hayward, ended up seeing the inside of a jail cell on suspicion of domestic violence.

According to the arrest report, Derek, 59, was nabbed by Coconut Creek cops Saturday night after a spat with Lisa as they drove home from a restaurant with their children, sons who are 10 and 13.
The latest incident also could have been fueled by alcohol. The police report notes both Lisa and Derek reeked of alcohol when officers spoke to them separately.
Only Miami New Times, the Sun-Sentinel and the Palm Beach Post have posted stories. Oddly enough, Derek's employer, WSVN, has not posted any of the lurid details. Strange for a station that seems to delight in exposing everyone else's dirty laundry.

Hayward's story has also traveled across the pond and ended up in London's Daily Mail which calls him a "FOX News anchor" who's married to a "glamorous TV reporter." Love those Brit tabloids!

There's no indication that Derek or Lisa received any celebrity treatment after being arrested.

However, Derek was photographed twice. Once by Coconut Creek police who took one of those deer-in-the headlight mug shots that makes him look absolutely sh*tfaced. And then again by BSO in slightly more flattering light and after he'd sobered up a bit.

South Florida TV anchors and reporters are regular fixtures at local jail booking desks.

In July 2003, Kelly Cobiella , a WPLG-ABC 10 anchor and reporter was busted for DUI on Miami Beach.

In Feb. 2007, CBS4 reporter Mike Kirsch was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer during a traffic stop. The charges were later reduced.

And in Oct. 2007, WPLG-TV reporter Jeff Weinsier was arrested and charged with resisting an officer without violence, trespassing and carrying a concealed weapon on school grounds. Weinsier was cleared of all the charges two weeks after his arrest.

And who can forget WSVN weatherman Bill Kamal? (left)

Kamal was caught in an Internet sex sting in 2004.

In Feb. 2005 he was sentenced to five years in federal prison. The judge also imposed a lifetime of probation on Kamal, who has since been released from prison.

But the Mother of all Miami TV Anchor Lurid Crime Stories occurred when WSVN anchor (anyone starting to notice a pattern here?) Rick Sanchez hit a man as he was leaving Joe Robbie Stadium following a game on Dec. 10, 1990. He was was charged with DUI in Feb. of 1991.

Here's how the Miami Herald's Don Van Natta Jr. summed up the case when Sanchez pleaded no contest to the DUI charges almost a year later on Nov. 8, 1991.
The cameramen were lined up like a firing squad in Dade traffic court Thursday to aim their lenses at television anchorman Rick Sanchez .

"State of Florida versus Ricardo Sanchez ," a court clerk announced at 11:37 a.m.

At that moment, a hush fell over the jammed courtroom as WSVN-Channel 7's top-rated anchor strode to the bench to plead no contest to charges of driving while intoxicated on Dec. 10, 1990, after leaving Joe Robbie Stadium.

Every head turned to get a glimpse of the celebrity defendant. The only sound was the whir of the cameras from every Miami TV station -- except Channel 7.

Sanchez seemed edgy as he stood before the judge. First he jammed his hands in his pockets and then he folded his arms.

Finally, Sanchez picked up his 14-month-old son, Ricky, who toyed with Dad's ballpoint pen. Meanwhile, Sanchez 's lawyer, Jonathan Blecher, asked the judge for permission to withdraw
from the case.

"We do not believe it is in Mr. Sanchez 's best interest to enter a plea of no contest here today," said Blecher, an attorney for Essen & Essen, one of America's top DUI defense law firms. "We are confident he would prevail at trial."

Circuit Judge Marc Schumacher granted Blecher's motion to withdraw. Sanchez 's new lawyer, Allan Milledge, then introduced himself to the court. Milledge represents Channel 7.

The judge asked Sanchez to put down his son for a moment and raise his right hand to take the oath.

"Please state your name," the judge said.

'Richard Sanchez ," he answered.

Prosecutor Blair Carr reviewed the facts, including the results of a blood test: Sanchez had a blood-alcohol level of .15 percent. In Florida, a driver with a .10 blood-alcohol level is considered drunk.

The judge pointed out that Sanchez was not charged with being at fault in the accident when he hit 32-year-old Jeffrey Smuzinick , who ran in front of Sanchez 's 1991 Volvo. Smuzinick , who was in a coma, is undergoing treatment at a Broward rehabilitation center.

Sanchez then entered his plea of no contest, and the terms of his plea agreement were announced: six months of probation, suspension of his driver license for six months, a 15-hour course for drunk drivers, 50 hours of community service, a $250 fine and $100 in court costs.

"Good luck to you, Mr. Sanchez ," Judge Schumacher said.

"Thank you, Your Honor," the anchorman replied.

That was it. Miami's most celebrated DUI case in recent memory was closed.

Sanchez paid the fine and court costs. He then granted interviews to his colleagues in the media.

"There is a certain amount of relief about putting something like this behind me," he said. "My attorneys disagree with my decision. But my Dad told me when we were growing up to always take responsibility for my actions. I'm going to take my Dad's advice, and I'm willing to take the consequences for this."

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1 comment:

  1. Sorry, I have no sympathy for Hayward, then or now. He had no sympathy for those he interviewed. Even in the most sensitive of cases.
    I wonder how he felt being on the other side of the camera??


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