A television reporter who had a high-profile segment on KNBC-TV in Los Angeles and became involved in an on-air hostage situation at the station in 1987 has died. David Horowitz died Thursday in Los Angeles after a battle with dementia, according to media reports. He was 81.
Horowitz was the nation’s best-known consumer reporter at one time, with his syndicated program “Fight Back! With David Horowitz” winning multiple Emmys and attracting a huge following. On the program, Horowitz tested commercial claims, looked into product defects and took consumer complaints to the companies.
He was a consumer reporter for KNBC for more than 15 years, with his program syndicated on stations across the U.S. He reportedly moved to KCBS-TV in 1993.
“In 1987, Horowitz was taken hostage during a KNBC-TV broadcast by a gunman with mental problems,” the AP reports. “The journalist read the man’s statements on camera although the hostage-taker didn’t realize the broadcast had been cut. The weapon turned out to be an empty BB gun.”
Following the incident, Horowitz led a campaign to ban realistic-looking toy guns in California and other states.
Here’s a clip of the 1987 hostage incident …