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Felon, Angry at ‘Left-Wing’ Drift, Said to Shoot at Police

By Larry Keller on July 20, 2010 - 4:14 pm, Posted in Antigovernment

A California felon whose mother said he was disgruntled by “the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items,” was shot several times and arrested after he allegedly began shooting at highway patrol officers who stopped him for a traffic citation.

Byron Williams, 45, of the central California town of Groveland, shot it out for about 15 minutes with California Highway Patrol officers early on Sunday after they stopped him for traffic violations in his Toyota Tundra on an interstate in Oakland, according to authorities.

Williams is a federal parolee who was released from prison two or three years ago after serving time for a California bank robbery in 2002. He also had earlier convictions in Washington state for assault, property destruction, drunken driving and hit-and-run, the San Jose Mercury News reported. The unemployed carpenter was frustrated at his inability to find work, his mother, Janice Williams, told reporters.

“He’s been upset with the direction the country is going,” she told Sacramento’s News10. “He feels the people of this country are being raped by our government and politicians.” She added that her son blamed politicians for destroying the U.S. economy.

As officers approached Williams’ truck, they said he picked up a handgun and began shooting at them. Officers returned fire and radioed for assistance. Ten officers in all fired at Williams, who also had a rifle and a shotgun.  He was hit several times but was wearing a bulletproof vest and survived. He was hospitalized in stable condition. A bomb squad also detonated a suspicious object found in Williams’ truck. No officers were shot, but two were treated for injuries from flying glass.

Oakland police are investigating the incident. They have not offered a motive for Williams’ alleged actions, but say they are executing search warrants in other cities and looking for possible accomplices.

Williams’ mother said that, unknown to her, her son took her truck and weapons she had legally bought and kept locked in a safe in her house. She told the San Francisco Chronicle she had the guns because “eventually, I think we’re going to be caught up in a revolution.” She added that she had told her son many times that “he didn’t have to be on the front lines” of that revolution.

The shootout is the second time in four months that a man expressing antigovernment views has opened fired on highway patrol officers. In March, Brody James Whitaker fired shots at two Florida Highway Patrol troopers and was arrested two weeks later in Connecticut. Whitaker claimed he was a “sovereign citizen” — part of the larger antigovernment “Patriot” movement — and therefore not subject to laws in Florida or Connecticut. He has been returned to Florida to face charges there.

  • Daniel Rosenthal

    The autor of the modern “welfare state” with social security,
    universal health care, disability insurance, etc. was NOT
    Karl Marx–it was Otto von Bismarck, who wanted to
    unify Germany, and proposed this as a way of getting
    popular support for his policies! These so-called
    conservatives simply do not have their facts straight.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    To support what other posters have alluded to above, consider that the Conservative Party of the UK would be considered to be practically communist in the US based on its platform.

    Seriously though, because I was once a right-winger in my youth, I can totally see why people like this go off the deep end. I never found myself close to that point, but I do remember the frustration and anger that goes along with living in a right-wing or conservative world, dominated by their narrative. It constantly seems like the world is against you, and you are always losing.

  • Jimbo

    The words ‘Beer Hall Putsch’ come to mind…..
    I’d bet that, were it 1979, this guy would be out SMASHING a Toyota (Tundra, or otherwise) with Sledge Hammers – saying it’s all the (fill in racial explative) fault!
    A Carpenter, eh? I wonder….Is he a Union Carpenter?
    Is he vested in his Unions Pension Plan?
    Would his Unions Pension Fund have gone BROKE, due to “Jeb, The S&L Destroyer, Bushs’ Brother Georgie-Porgies” (but not at all Obamas!) Evil Plans to Rape our Economy – Again! – if it weren’t for all the ‘Infernal Commie’ Bail-Out stuff?!?
    Saw it coming – in Dec. of 2000!!!
    It’s IDIOTS like these that are the only reason we don’t live in a Truly Nice Country – like Norway!

  • Elgran

    Why exactly blame progressives? And for what? A watered-down health care bill? Most democracies have universal health care. Only in this country would an insurance mandate be considered “leftist.” The idea that some working class people in this country blame progressives instead of the corporate interests that deny them rights such as universal health care is just one of the strangest twists of reality in our politics. White working class people, I should add, since so many of them have been told that anything that might benefit other working class people such as blacks is “anti-white.” The Republicans have done a good job of instilling hatred against racial minorities.

  • Melissa

    Bruce, how can you defend this violence? The people who disagreed with the Bush administration’s agenda did not claim to be patriots and attempt to murder police officers. This is a democracy and if you do not agree with the policies that are being VOTED into law then you VOTE to change things, you do not incite political violence or defend it. I hope you remember that you defended guerilla warfare when the next conservative president is elected and due to the alienation that you are spreading, crazy liberals decide to follow this “patriot” way of thinking just because, “the conservatives did this to us when Barack Obama was president”. What would you say then? I can only imagine.

  • WMDKitty

    Left wing? I guarantee that anything we consider “left wing” here is downright conservative elsewhere — like, oh… Europe, or Canada. We don’t HAVE a left wing. We have a right wing, and a further-right wing.

  • Regina 1959

    He’s disgruntled at our government? Look at his track record, being jailed so many times and he wonders why he can’t get a job? This man is not well and his mother is blind to the fact that is it not the government’s fault for her son’s actions. If you commit the crime, you do the time. People are watching too much FAUX news and believing all this rhetoric. FAUX news makes headlines by making up stories for sensationalism that about it, but some people can’t read between the lines and see it is a satire or joke on life. FAUX news is certainly making people do crazy things.

  • Bruce

    There will likely be more of this kind of thing as the progressives in Congress continue to go what is clearly against the opinion of the majority. So far things have been pretty civil but as the extremists continue to force more and more issues onto the will of the people there will be a breaking point.

    The troopers do not deserve the outcry even from this obviously unbalanced person but they are the representatives of government to most people. As Obama and his crew continue to push through their agenda there will come a breaking point and they will have no one but themselves to blame for it

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    You’re right Geo, maybe it’s time to get the ladle and get rid of the conservatives that are spoiling the broth eh?

  • Geo

    It seems that little by little the great American melting pot is boiling over folks.

  • Paen

    Patriot movement?What a sick joke.I am not a Conservative and I agree with them on very few issues but the real ones do not deserve to have criminal fascists like this nut associated with them.

  • Norman Autrey

    Uh, like mother like son?