KEENE, N.H. (CBS) — The organizer of the Keene Pumpkin Festival says she has no regrets after an encounter between her and a local TV reporter went viral.

Dozens were arrested and injured in Keene on Saturday as parties around the pumpkin festival raged out of control. And when Public Access reporter Jared Goodell of Cheshire TV tried to ask festival organizer Ruth Sterling about the disturbances on live TV, things got heated.

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“If you think that inciting these people is a good idea, I’m going to pull the plug on you,” Sterling tells Goodell while trying to grab his microphone.

But Goodell kept reporting and said that Sterling’s actions were “against the freedom of the press.”

“She’s not letting me do my job and report to you,” Goodell said. “When you report the news, when you report the reality, the people in charge want to shut you down.”

In a statement to WBZ, Sterling compared Goodell’s actions to “yelling fire in a crowded theater.”

“I needed to keep 80,000 people safe,” she said. “And one self-promoting punk could help me do that or TRY to impede me from doing that.”

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But Goodell tells WBZ that Sterling acted unprofessional while he tried to report the news.

He said attorneys have reached out to him about pursuing assault charges against Sterling for trying to pull the microphone from his hand, but said he does not plan to do that.

Cheshire TV is based in Keene and can also be seen in other communities including Marlborough and Swanzey.


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