A TV news anchor affiliated with NBC was caught in a sting after he attempted with what he thought was a fifteen-year-old boy – and then dismissed the interception as an act of bigotry.
Zach Wheeler, who worked for WETM-TV in upstate New York, reportedly drove three hours to rendezvous with a teenage boy, only to learn he had been ensnared by a child protection advocacy group known as the 607 Predator Hunters.
Wheeler was confronted in a Dick’s Sporting Goods store and attempted to explain himself, only to cry bigotry when his excuses didn’t hold water.
“Why do you guys do this to gay and lesbian people?” he asked the men, who followed him from every angle with camera phones.
“No, no, no,” one of the predator hunters cut him off. “We do this to everybody.”
According to the Daily Wire, the 607 Predator Hunters carried out the sting on a Sunday evening, and -despite the chat logs as glaring evidence- Wheeler claims he thought the “teen” was eighteen.
“I thought the kid was 18,” he said. “I wasn’t looking to have sex.”
The then-WETM employee claimed that he knew it was the predator hunters, claiming he was doing a story about them.
“I wasn’t even going to come here, because I knew it was you guys,” he said.
WETM did not identify Wheeler by name in a Facebook post, but noted that they were aware of the situation and that he no longer worked there.
“Friday evening, WETM was made aware of a video posted to YouTube regarding one of our employees,” the post read. “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 unknown if local law enforcement agencies are looking in to the matter.
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