In the man’s vehicle, which was backed into a spot in the
parking lot, investigators found items including a rifle, a handgun and
more than 90 rounds of ammunition, said a source close to the
investigation who asked not to be named.
By Tuesday evening, the man, in his 20s, was booked into the
comment on any items in the man’s vehicle but confirmed that sheriff’s
detectives arrested the man after a detective saw his vehicle following
The church protests at soldiers’ funerals, claiming
that war deaths are God’s way of punishing the nation for immorality
and for tolerance of abortion and homosexuality.
A church spokesman could not be reached Tuesday night.
Sources said the man arrested is a veteran who suffered severe wounds when an improvised bomb exploded in
Hinshaw gave this account:
Two sheriff’s detectives were among the law
enforcement personnel helping to observe a protest by Westboro members
Tuesday morning at
“Everything seemed to be peaceful,” Hinshaw said.
On the way back to the
one of the detectives saw a vehicle “persistently staying behind” a
vehicle carrying the Westboro protesters. “It didn’t look right to
him,” considering the controversy surrounding Westboro, Hinshaw said.
Based on “reasonable suspicion,” the detective
stopped the vehicle, Hinshaw said. The driver said he was helping to
protect the Westboro group and was with the group, Hinshaw said. The
detective let the driver go on.
Later, when the detective contacted members of the
Westboro group, they said the driver was not with them. They told the
detective they were headed to
Acting on the group’s information, the detective stopped the man’s vehicle a second time in downtown
At the courthouse, the detective checked records and
found that the man was driving with a revoked license, and learned from
officials in the man’s home county that the man was not a reserve
Based on that information, the detective and a couple other detectives went across the street to
“And sure enough, he was,” Hinshaw said.
It was mid-morning. The detectives found the man in his vehicle, backed into a spot south of the
They arrested him and secured the vehicle.
A law enforcement official in the man’s home town
said he is considered a hero there because of his service and sacrifice
in the war.
“It’s shocking that this is even happening,” the official said of the arrest.
The man “seemed just like a likable, good person …
who loves and cares for his country and the laws of his country,” the
(c) 2010, The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.).
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