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Citizen's Arrest

by Robert A. Waters

"Guns are only good for killing people."

We've all heard that old song and dance from the gun-banners. But while they two-step around the truth, American citizens continue to use firearms to save themselves, to save others, and, in many cases, to assist law enforcement officials in capturing criminals.

On September 30, 1999, Earl Phillips and four members of his family returned to their Waynesville, North Carolina home after having spent the evening at the county fair. Christopher Wayne Lippard and Charles Wesley Roache are alleged to have surprised the family and shotgunned them all.

After the murders, the two took Phillips' car. It got stuck in the driveway, so they stole a pickup truck that belonged to one of the family members. The inept drivers quickly wrecked it, too. Having spent most of their adult lives in prison, their driving skills were so impaired that this was the third car they'd wrecked that day.

Deciding to split up, Lippard hitchhiked to New Orleans where he was eventually captured after being profiled on America's Most Wanted.

Lost in the avalanche of publicity about the case was the fact that Roache was collared by an armed citizen.

Within hours of their murders, the bodies of the Phillips family had been discovered and a manhunt was underway.

Unable to commandeer a wreck-proof vehicle, Roache decided to flee on foot.

Less than a mile from the Phillips home, Jim Fowler and his two sons heard their dogs barking. Arming themselves with hunting rifles, they searched their property where they found Roache hiding beneath a camper top. "I held him...until the law got here," Fowler said. "I didn't want him to get away."

While the murders of the family made national headlines, and Lippard's capture was a media sensation, the story of Roache's apprehension by armed citizens was relegated to local media.

Another recent case highlights the national media's refusal to report such stories.

In October, 1999, a deer hunter captured a dangerous prison escapee near Frankford, Missouri. Despite a massive manhunt, John Dieumegarde, a convicted bank robber, was able to elude his pursuers for twenty-four hours. However, when he tried to force his way into the unnamed hunter's pickup truck, Dieumegarde was stopped short by the barrel of a .357 Magnum. The hunter then escorted the fugitive to a farmhouse and called police.

While murder and mayhem are staples of the major media, captures by armed citizens aren't. One recent case made national headlines. But the real story of the fugitive's capture was shamefully withheld.

On February 14, 2000, Charles Lannis Moses, Jr. went on a violent rampage, allegedly murdering a farmer and wounding two law enforcement officers in wild shootouts.

The chase began in Lincoln County, Nebraska when a sheriff's deputy attempted to arrest Moses on a fugitive warrant. In a brief gunbattle, Moses shot the deputy and fled.

The fugitive then ditched his bullet-riddled car. He is alleged to have murdered Robert Sedlacek in order to steal his pickup truck. Then he shot and wounded a Nebraska state trooper who attempted to stop him.

By now, more than a hundred officers were involved in the manhunt. For two days, police dogs combed the northern Nebraska plains. Dozens of helicopters were used in search of the fugitive. Moses, a self-styled survivalist, slipped them and headed for the foothills of Wyoming.

The manhunt was too good for the national media to pass up. It had everything: a violent, gun-toting fugitive; a string of victims with sad, telegenic relatives; and a mystery--when would the maniac strike again?

In the meantime, Moses made his way to the Lusk, Wyoming farmhouse of Jim Kremers. The farmer and his son, Justin, aware that a fugitive was on the loose, discovered him on their property. Justin got the drop on the ex-convict and held him while his father tried to talk the man into surrendering.

Eventually, Moses dropped his rifle and handgun, and gave up. Kremers' son notified police and Federal agents quickly swooped in to take credit for the capture.

Jim Kremers later filled local reporters in on what happened. "We scurried like ducks and made plans [when we saw Moses]," he said. "Justin had a rifle. I told him to keep [Moses] in his sights, and I commenced to start talking."

How did the national media report the story? In a segment entitled, "Fugitive Survivalist Caught," a CBS News reporter stated, "Authorities said Moses was found at a farmhouse where he had surrendered his gun."

The fact that the alleged murderer was apprehended by armed citizens was never mentioned.

So let the gun-banners continue to sing their corrupt song.

Many Americans will ignore the music and dance to a different drummer.

And the beat goes on!

Mr. Waters is the author of The Best Defense: True Stories of Intended Victims Who Defended Themselves with a Firearm.


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For those that will fight for it, FREEDOM has a flavor the protected shall never know. --L/Cpl Edwin L."Tim" Craft, February 1968, Khe Sahn Combat Base

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