Local January 14, 2011 | 2:47 pm

New York reporter runs fiery gauntlet to make flight

NEW YORK.- Like a tale right from the pages of the preposterous, or an advertising gimmick, a New York based reporter for newspaper Nuevo Diario and other local media had to sweat resolve not to miss his Tuesday flight in Santiago’s airport.

Miguel Cruz Tejada was leaving the Dominican Republic aboard Delta flight 550 from Cibao International Airport at 1:19 p.m., but wasn’t aware that the leftist nationwide group FALPO had staged a protest to demand justice for the killing of one of its members by Police.

The protest by FALPO, which has also been accused of killing police agents, included the usual torched tires, tree trunks, and trash to blocks roads and occasionally nails to puncture tires. One of these was precisely the one Cruz Tejeda had to take to get to the airport.

“Just as we were about to take the road to airport the front left tire went flat when it made contact with a nail,” the journalist wrote on elnuevodiario.com.do. With no time to fix tires, he got out of the car with little hope of finding another vehicle on the dangerous road, but asked a motorcyclist if there were any taxis nearby.

“Taxi? Around here? No one wants those thugs to burn their vehicle, I think you’re going to lose your flight”.

Faced with losing his uncle’s flight, Cruz Tejeda’s nephew Ramón Paulino grabbed the luggage, got on the motorcycle, went to get a second one, and both went off zigzagging the gauntlet of stones, fire and felled trees to make it to the airport on time.

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