Maybe Army National Guardsman and Iraq war veteran William Everett Alemar thought he was just getting in some good training.But the police didn’t seem to think so.
Matthew Umstead of The Herald Mail reports that police in Martinsburg, West Virginia received calls at 7 am on Aug. 20 about a man running down the road near a school in fatigues and a protective vest, brandishing what appeared to be an assault rifle.
In a matter of minutes three officers were reportedly drawing their weapons down on the man, forcing him to his knees and removing the rifle from his possession.
The rifle turned out to be a air-soft “training” rifle, essentially a toy that anyone can buy which shoots rubber pellets, and also had the easily recognisable red tip that denotes toy guns, according to the Herald Mail. Police found two knives, several empty rifle magazines, and ceramic plates in his vest, the paper reported.
Alemar has been arrested under charges of “committing a terroristic act and wearing body armour while committing a felony offence,” according to official records. He’s being held on a $50,000 bail.
Police say that his behaviour caused local people fear of immediate threat. But Alemar’s father told reporters, “my son is not a terrorist, he’s a good kid,” and added that he was just trying to stay in shape for his next assignment.
Alemar was assigned to a special operations unit in Iraq, so I guess it’s plausible that he was “just training.”
I don’t know if we hit him with a felony charge though. Possibly some counseling and a prescription.
But “terrorist actions?” Maybe we’re just paranoid as a nation. Or maybe Alemar should have been smart enough to leave his rifle at home (along with the knives, empty magazines, gloves and holster).
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