Imagine the following: You’re in the military, but you’re not currently on active duty. You’ve still got most of your gear, but it just sits in the closet most of the day. You’ve been home playing video games for far too long and you’re itching to get back out there in your old gear and get some training in before you become a soft flabby fatbody. Normally, this would result in a trip to the gym. But for William Alemar that just wasn’t enough . . .
From The Journal in West Virginia:
At about 7:17 a.m., the Martinsburg Police Department received several calls in regards to an individual running and carrying a rifle near the area of Bulldog Boulevard and Raleigh Street in Martinsburg.
Apparently Mr. Alemar had decided to do some training and so he kitted himself out with all his sooper cool OPERATOR gear including an airsoft version of an AR-15. Then he went for a relaxing jog around the block in broad daylight. And while the orange tip of his airsoft rifle would give us gun owners a clue as to what was really going on and allay our fears, the average population just sees “GUN!”, doesn’t pass go, doesn’t collect $200 and proceeds directly to panic mode. Which prompted multiple calls to the police, who finally responded and held our hero at gunpoint.
Officers responded to the scene and located the man, later identified as 23-year-old William Everett Alemar, of South Raleigh Street, near the intersection of Silver Lane and Raleigh Street. When Patrolman M. Jones, Patrolman C.M. Richmond and Patrolman First Class E. Herb encountered the individual, he was dressed in full military desert camouflage and a ballistic vest and with what appeared to be an assault rifle across his chest, police said.
All three officers engaged Alemar at gunpoint and ordered him to his knees to be taken into custody.
While running around with your gear on isn’t really illegal in and of itself, the fact that he was apparently near a school has turned this enjoyable jog into a felony — specifically, the police are charging him with committing a terroristic act.
A terrorist act is defined under state code as an act that is likely to result in serious bodily injury or damage to property or the environment; intended to intimidate or coerce the civilian population; influence the policy of a branch or level of government by intimidation or coercion; affect the conduct of a branch or level of government by intimidation or coercion; or retaliate against a branch or level of government for a policy or conduct of the government.
“Because of his actions and his dress it alarmed and put individuals in the area in immediate fear for their lives,” Swartwood said.
Here’s where it gets even better: wearing body armor isn’t usually a crime in West Virginia. But when you’re in the process of committing another crime, it becomes illegal. So even though we applaud Mr. Alemar for actually having plates in his plate carrier and not just having it on for show, he is now looking at two criminal charges instead of one.
But, why? What possible motive could this man have for running around like he was training to be in the military? Could he be one of those “prepper” nuts? Or a member of a militia? Buried near the end of the article was this little gem:
Swartwood said Monday afternoon that police are still investigating Alemar’s motives. He is a member of the military, police said.
There’s a slight difference between what’s acceptable attire on base and off base. And for not recognizing that and running around in your duty gear with what looks to all the world like a real rifle and body armor – and netting two criminal charges in a single leap – we award Mr. Alemar with today’s Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day award.