In what Fox News officials concede was a mistake, John Loftus, a former U.S. prosecutor, gave out the address Aug. 7, saying it was the home of a Middle Eastern man, Iyad K. Hilal, who was the leader of a terrorist group with ties to those responsible for the July 7 bombings in London.
Hilal, whom Loftus identified by name during the broadcast, moved out of the house about three years ago. But the consequences were immediate for the Voricks.
Satellite photos of the house and directions to the residence were posted online. The Voricks told police, who arranged for the content to be taken down. Someone even removed the street sign where the Voricks live to provide some protection.
Still, it has not been easy.
A driver yelled a profanity at the family and called them terrorists as they barbecued on their patio Aug. 14. Some drivers have stopped and photographed the house, Randy Vorick said.
Last weekend, someone spray-painted “Terrist” on their home. Police, who have regularly patrolled their house since the day after the broadcast, now station a squad car across the street.
Randy, a restaurant manager, and Ronnell, a manager at a staffing agency, have been married 19 years and met as teenagers when they worked at a local McDonald’s.
They grew up in La Habra and bought the house three years ago after Hilal moved out so they could be close to Ronnell Vorick’s parents.
La Habra Police Capt. John Rees said the department was “giving special attention to the family to make sure they’re safe,” but declined to elaborate.
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Loftus said he gave out the address to help local police, and insisted that Hilal, a Garden Grove grocery store owner, was a terrorist.
“I thought it might help police in that area now that we have positively identified a terrorist living in [Orange County],” he said.
Tip for former prosecutor Loftus: if you want to help the police, call the police.
“Terrist.” That pretty much sums up what you need to know about the Fox News audience, doesn’t it?