Little Rock teacher arrested in clash with TV reporter

Posted: March 7, 2018 at 4:30 a.m.

Lance Fritchman, 52, of Little Rock

A Little Rock School District teacher was arrested after a dispute with a TV news reporter who was questioning him about recent social media posts, police said.

Lance Fritchman, 52, was booked into the Pulaski County jail around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday on a charge of criminal trespass, records show. Fritchman is listed as a coach on McClellan High School's website.

According to a police report, officers responded around 7 a.m. Monday to the lower parking deck of the Victory Building at 1401 W. Capitol Ave., in reference to a terroristic threatening report.

Fritchman told police that he had gone to the building, which houses the studio for NBC affiliate KARK-TV and Fox affiliate KLRT-TV, in response to Mitchell McCoy's reporting.

McCoy had questioned Fritchman about social media posts that referred to race, among other topics. Police said Fritchman left several messages telling McCoy to "come out and let's handle this man to man."

Fritchman was told to not call the reporter and was barred from returning to the Victory Building, the report said. Officers were called again around noon Monday but were not able to locate Fritchman, according to authorities.

A Twitter account bearing Fritchman's name features tweets questioning why there is no white history month and criticizing the looks of participants in marches for women's rights. Other posts mention McCoy and Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times, which first reported on Fritchman's arrest.

Pamela Smith, a Little Rock School District spokesman, said Fritchman had been placed on paid administrative leave before he was taken into custody.

"However, we have been made aware of [Fritchman's arrest] and are conducting further review," Smith said. "We are unable to comment on specifics as it is a personnel matter unrelated to LRSD."

State Desk on 03/07/2018