In a Body Cam video released by the Oregon State Police and posted by the Harney County Sheriff’s Department, the man, identified as Joseph Arthur Stetson was stopped around 12PM at a Gas Station/Food Market in Harney County after being suspected of driving drunk.
— Harney Cty. Sheriff (@HarneyCoSheriff) January 26, 2016
During the first 5 minutes of the near 10 minute encounter, Stetson was talkative and cooperative with Troopers although he seemed to have a hard time remembering where he was headed to and kept saying that he was headed to Banks, Oregon then later Burns, Oregon to join the standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Reserve.
The State Trooper told him that the reason for the stop was because they got calls about him and were a little concerned, he also told Stetson that he was being recorded.
At one point Stetson muttered “Piece of shit Obama, Muslim piece of shit” then stated that “I respect authority” after the State Trooper spotted what appeared to be a gun on his person and asked him to stop putting his hands in his pockets.
He also claimed to have only drank NyQuil after the Trooper noted that he smelled alcohol coming from Stetson’s breath.
The conversation took a scary and sinister turn after he was placed into custody, during a profanity laced rant that lasted about 4 minutes he told Troopers, “I’ll kill all of ya Don’t believe me? If I go to jail, when I come out I will kill you” he went on to say:
“I’m a Green Beret Colonel, 1980, I served in central America my record was sealed (from) Ronald Reagan. I’ll kill all you sons of bitches. Freaking cowards sons of bitches. I will kill you sir.”
“I’ve got a damn M14 up in hills up there in (Mt Hood?) and I’m going to kill all you sons of bitches, you’ll see you sons of bitches. Freaking cowards, you Obama sons of bitches.”
“You son of a bitch cops, I will kill you”
“BAM! Off with your freaking heads!”
“I will kill you, freaking Nazi son of a bitch!”
As he was being put in the back cab of a waiting State Trooper pickup truck, he ended with this parting shot
“I will kill you, state trooper, I will kill all of you!”
Authorities told NBCNews that he kicked a police car so violently the door was significantly damaged but even all of that he was only held on a $5,000 bail in Harney County and only charged with resisting arrest. Its unclear if he’s posted bail at this time or if he will retain the right to posses a firearm.
Online sympathizers like ‘20watter‘ quickly took to YouTube and decried the encounter as being ‘unconstitutional’ while another supporter going by the moniker ‘YouAreOneOfUs‘ claimed the entire encounter was ‘staged’ and ‘fake’
Should Law Enforcement be concerned?
Yes, Stetson is likely part of self proclaimed ‘Patriot’ / ‘Constitutional militia’ / ‘Anti-Government’ movements many of whom are people who claim to be ex-military. Over the past 2 years people aligned with or are sympathizers with these particular movements have either ambushed, killed or wounded Federal Employees and Police officers, sympathizers such as:
Jared posted this message on facebook prior to the rampage
James Boulware purchased an armored car off ebay then went on a rampage that included opening fire on Police Officers in Dallas Texas
Eric Frein ambushed and shot 2 State Troopers in Blooming Grove, PA, killing 1.
Larry Steve McQuilliams went on a late night rampage in the City of Austin, TX which included firing on a bank and Federal Courthouse, planted a crudely made bomb in front of a Mexican Consulate building before being killed in front of Austin Police Headquarters.
Then there is Robert Dear who wounded 5 police officers and killed 1 during an assault on a Planned Parenthood clinic.
Over the past 2 years has been especially dangerous for law enforcement because not only have they been attacked by people who claim to be associated with these groups but sympathizers of other groups such as ISIS
As for Joe Stetson who announced in mid 2015 that he was running for President in 2016, its unclear if this latest incident will have a negative effect on his campaign.