Today, I was reading an article about a man from Trinidad, Texas named John Joe Gray. Now old John Joe is a gray bearded grandfather who lives on his 47 acre property, without electricy and running water, with his children and grandchildren growing their own fruits and vegetables. John Joe and his brood became possibly part of the longest, strangest and, thankfully, bloodless armed stand-off in American history. The Henderson County Sheriff, Ray Nutt, chose not to send in deputies to arrest John Joe because he feared them getting killed.
Now this newest episode of wierdness in the old west started in 1999 when John Joe was pulled over by a trooper for speeding in nearby Anderson County. State troopers saw high-powered rifles and anti-government materials in the car, but Gray refused to get out. See old John Joe didn’t have a license to carry those rifles. When the troopers tried to remove him from the car, he allegedly bit one trooper’s hand and tried to grab his gun. Then after his arrest John Joe showed up in court for a bail hearing for his third degree felony assault on a police officer, at which time County District Attorney Doug Lowe told the judge he feared Gray was a major threat because troopers found diagrams of plans to blow up a Dallas overpass.
John Joe then paid his bond, left the courthouse and went home.
Old John Joe refused to go back to court to answer for his crime, and he, his family and friends armed themselves with pistols and rifles, and patrolled the grounds daring the police to come and get them. So for the last 16 years John Joe has been on a self-imposed “house arrest” within the confines of the Gray family perimeter. Law enforcement just figured it wasn’t worth the effort, or possible price, to go get him so figured they would wait him out thinking he would emerge sooner or later.
John Joe was quoted “We’ve never shot no one yet. But they know, if they come on us, they’ll be surprised what’s going to happen to them.” Thankfully proper English is not a crime or new charges would have to be imposed and the stalemate would be continuing.
However, the charges were dropped in 2014, although the court system didn’t think it necessary to tell law enforcement, or the Gray’s, about it. The sheriff was rather cavalier saying that John Joe has been in prison out there himself, in his opinion, for years. He felt it took pressure off police and the Gray family. So now everybody’s happy and life goes on as normal in Trinidad, Texas.
But what ho! I would like to point out a couple of things that I noticed while plundering through this article. First point being old John Joe had unlicensed, therefore, unregistered high powered rifles in his vehicle. Second point being, while refusing to get out of the vehicle when asked by law enforcement, he tried to (third point) grab a troopers weapon from his holster and then he (fourth point) bit the officer on his hands. Please note that the officer’s weapon was in the holster and therefore non-threatening. And the biggest, most unbelievable point, the officers found anti-government materials as well as diagrams to blow up a Dallas overpass. What?
Now here is the pièce de résistanc