Report: Neighbor was posing as reporter

Lake Wylie PilotJuly 1, 2009 

Lake Wylie Pilot reporter John Marks

LAKE WYLIE -- Concerned parents in the Forest Oaks neighborhood of Lake Wylie reported a suspicious man posing as a Lake Wylie Pilot reporter Thursday taking photos of their children.

According to the York County Sheriff's report, responding to a harassment call, officers observed Gregory Willard of 1015 Valley Forge Drive, "sitting in a lawn chair in the roadway with a camera in his hand."

"Mr. Willard was intoxicated and advised that he was a reporter for the Lake Wylie Pilot newspaper," the report states. "He replied that he was just trying to get some information about an incident that took place the day before in that area."

Willard was reluctant to provide his information and provided a false address, the report states. When the officer asked again who he worked for "he stated that he was an independent reporter, and that he tries to sell his stories to anyone who will buy them," the report states.

The Pilot employs only one full-time reporter, Editor Catherine Muccigrosso said, but it does hire freelancers to cover stories and events in the community. Reporters from sister papers, such as The Herald, Fort Mill Times and Enquirer-Herald, also sometimes cover stories in the community.

"The man was not affiliated in any way with your local community newspaper," Muccigrosso said. "The parents took the right course of action by calling the police.

"If you are uneasy or suspicious about someone representing the newspaper, call 911, then the Pilot office for verification," she said.

Did you know? Information about a man posing as a Lake Wylie Pilot reporter first appeared online at lakewyliepilot.com

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