Monday, May 23, 2005

More Ford Fun Coming?

Yet another Ford is being heard from it seems. I was up uncharacteristically early today and caught a report on WREG/3 that Harold Ford, Jr.'s cousin Melvin Ford caused a disturbance in a local restaurant recently. Two women said he was abusive and threatening, and waved the Ford family name around. I can't recall if police were called or not. Sure would be fun to read that police report, if it was filed.

I just checked the WREG website before posting it, and the story isn't there yet. I'll check back later, and try to watch the evening broadcast, so I can report more.

By the way, on the subject of Fords, did you know that the man who once employed State Senator John Ford for his TennCare related business, Osbie Howard, resigned CEO of OmniCare, is also the long-time campaign treasurer for Memphis mayor Willie Herenton? I've read several stories about Ford that mentioned Osbie, but can't recall seeing the Herenton treasurer connection being mentioned. I'm sure political types in Memphis know all about it, but I'm just some guy in Midtown and the news surprised and amused me. More here and here.

Yeah, this city is just one big ongoing criminal conspiracy. Can we get a RICO investigation started?

UPDATE: Saturday, 7PM Well, watched the evening news and nothing. Still no story link on their website either. Sorry.

FURTHER UPDATE Saturday 7:45PM Something told me not to wait, so I called WREG/3. Naturally they keep "office hours," even though they are a 24/7 operation, so I had to call the news tip line (543-2111). I spoke with a woman named Heather. She confirmed the story and that it was Melvin Ford, but couldn't name the restaurant chain involved. She said the story wouldn't run tonight, but might run again tomorrow morning. I encouraged her to put the story on the website.

Heather was that irksome kind of person who only answers a direct question with a terse answer. She volunteered nothing. It was like pulling teeth from a child. Sheesh. "On My Side" my ass.

UPDATE Monday 2:30pmMade some further calls today and I have facts to report. I called WREG/3 and only identified myself as Mike; didn't mention the blog to the reporter. As far as I can determine, there will be no story on the WREG website.

The original story was done by WREG/3 reporter Tom Powell and aired on Friday, the 20th, during the 10PM broadcast. Saturday's broadcast, the one I caught, was a re-use.

The report said it wouldn't name the chain, so I asked Powell if he would identify the street or part of town. He said he'd "prefer not to."

Powell said that Melvin Ford entered the restaurant and became out of control. He waved a boxcutter around, causing the employees to hit the panic button. The police arrived and frisked Ford, but claimed not to find the boxcutter. Ford did make something to the effect of "do you know who I am?" type comments.

A police report was filled out; Powell has a copy of it. But the police refused to arrest Ford, saying without the boxcutter it was "he said, she said." All they could hold him for, according to Powell, as "misdemeanor intimidation."

And there you have it. Another Ford waving a weapon and his family name around. Police involvement that leads nowhere. Had the restaurant employees not contacted WREG the whole thing would have disappeared.

I'm happy to keep this story alive, via the Internet. Kudos to Tom Powell for reporting it. If you want to contact WREG for yourself, their office phone is 901-543-2333. Office hours only, please.

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