Angry Reader Rams Pickup Into Newspaper Office


(AP) A man still angry about a story printed in a small newspaper three years ago rammed his pickup truck into the paper’s building, police said.

Steven Venable, 39, rammed into the lobby of the Kernersville News late Sunday, later telling police a 1999 story the paper ran put him out of business, authorities said.

No one was in the building at the time.

“He parked across the street at a gasoline station and got a running start and ran through the front of the building,” News Publisher John Owensby said. “In my opinion, it wasn’t a good old boy doing something stupid. It was a terrorist activity on a newspaper.”

Venable, of Winston-Salem, was charged with two counts of hit and run, injury to real property, and two counts of reckless driving. He was held on $25,000 bond.

The story in question was about a woman who left a plumber at her home to make repairs, only to find $440 she had hidden in a drawer gone when she returned.

The story didn’t name Venable or his plumbing business, and Venable was not charged. But he said it was enough to put him out of business, Police Capt. Mike Brim said.

Venable wrecked his truck on Interstate 40 not far from the paper’s red brick building shortly after the incident, Brim said.

“He had no remorse at all,” Brim said. “He said ‘Justice has been done.'”

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