If You See Something (Texas National Guard Doing Kidnaps), Do Something (Run Troops Off Road, Hold At Gunpoint)
An Arizona man is in custody after holding 11 National Guard soldiers at gunpoint near Lubbock, Texas, on Monday. The soldiers, in three unmarked white vans, were delivering coronavirus vaccine to a town about 80 miles away. But the guy with the gun, one Larry Lee Harris, 66, from Wilcox, Arizona, convinced himself the uniformed soldiers were actually kidnapping a woman and a child. So really, what could a red-blooded armed American do but take action? It's like they say: If you see something, be ready to shoot eleven soldiers.
A statement by Eric. C Williams, the police chief of Idalou, Texas (population 2250), said that Harris had "followed the National Guard Soldiers from Love's Travel Station" and that Harris "attempted multiple times to run the vans … off the road."
Eventually, the statement said, Harris pulled into oncoming traffic and stopped the vans, ordering the unarmed Guard members out of their vehicles, which you can do in America when you have a gun and are convinced you are right. It's in the Constitution, you can look it up.
"Harris pointed a gun at a National Guard Soldier, identified himself as a detective, and demanded to search the vehicles," the statement said. It also said Harris ordered the guardsmen out of their vehicles at gunpoint.
Williams, who was among the Idalou Police and Lubbock County Sheriff's deputies who responded to the incident after one of the Guard members called 911, told the Washington Post that some of the soldiers looked "so young, I thought they may have been part of an ROTC detachment." Williams said that after Harris was taken into custody, he believed the soldiers got back on the road and delivered their load of vaccines to the town of Matador.
Harris was arrested without any trouble; the Post says that, in addition to the .45 caliber pistol he'd been waving at the Guard members, he also had a spare magazine in a shirt pocket, plus a third in his truck, plus more ammo. The AP reports that all told, Harris had three guns with him. When you're saving women and children from the clutches of US armed forces helping to vaccinate people against a pandemic, you need to be really prepared.
The AP also says Harris caught a boatload of charges for his imaginary rescue mission:
Harris was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful restraint of 11 National Guard members, unlawful carrying of a weapon, impersonating a public servant, and interference with Texas military forces. He remained jailed Tuesday on $44,000 bond and had a federal hold on his custody. Jail records list no attorney for him.
In his statement, Williams said Harris "appeared to be mentally disturbed," which is exactly the sort of fellow you want out there protecting America's highways and byways while packing multiple firearms.
So far, none of the reporting we've seen has said whether Harris is an adherent of the QAnon conspiracy theory, but the vigilante action to prevent what he thought was an abduction sure seems suggestive. It would be irresponsible not to speculate. We'll let you know if he starts shouting about adrenochrome at his arraignment.
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