A central New York state news anchor has been fired following a confrontation with a civilian group that protects children from sexual predators.
The news anchor, WETM’s Zach Wheeler, had exchanged text messages with what he thought was a 15-year-old boy. The messages were actually from 607 Predator Hunters, a trio of anonymous working fathers that monitors chat rooms and other online areas, looking for adults attempting to engage local minors.
As shown in a video that 607 Predator Hunters posted on April 29th, Wheeler and the undercover investigator agreed to meet at a sporting goods store close to where the “boy” lived. Wheeler drove three hours for the encounter. Once at the store, 607 Predator Hunters confronted him.
Wheeler first denied the encounter was for sex, insisting it was for story research. When this tack failed, Wheeler pivoted to accusing the men of homophobia, then offered them both money and air time in return for not publishing the video.
WETM announced Wheeler’s termination Monday.
Friday evening, WETM was made aware of a video posted to YouTube regarding one of our employees. The local group that posted the video claimed that the employee engaged in inappropriate behavior. WETM management investigated the questions raised by the video, and the employee is no longer employed by WETM.
It is unfortunate that in the current abortion furor, many headlines and facts are being drowned out. One is the extraordinary accomplishments of actual parents protecting their children, doing the job law enforcement cannot or will not. While no one advocates vigilantism, in times such as ours, there is often no other option. 607 Predator Hunters deserve all praise for manning up in an often man-despising society.
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