Heavily-Armed Convict Mad at ‘Left-Wing’ Fires on Police on His Way to a ‘Revolution’

July 21, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Add convicted felon Byron Williams to the growing list of armed and dangerous anti-government fanatics inflamed by a steady diet of Fox News and other conspiracy laden right-wing media. Williams, 45, a California unemployed carpenter on parole for two bank robberies, strapped on body armor, assembled an arsenal, including a shotgun, rifle and handgun and headed out in his mother’s Toyota Tundra Pickup with the intention of murdering innocent people, having a “left-wing agenda” at the San Francisco-based ACLU office and the environmental Tides Foundation. Luckily, he was stopped by the California Highway Patrol for speeding and driving erratically, before he reached his destination. But when CHP officers approached his vehicle, Williams began firing and a shootout ensued. Remarkably, no officers were hurt and Williams was finally brought down, but survived because of his body armor. Williams later told investigators he had planned to “start a revolution.”

According to the report by the San Francisco Chronicle, Williams was heavily armed and intent on killing:

“Police say he then initiated a chaotic, 12-minute gunbattle with officers, firing a 9mm handgun, a .308-caliber rifle and a shotgun. He reloaded his weapons when he ran out of ammunition and stopped only after officers shot him in areas of his body not covered by his bullet-resistant vest, authorities said.”

“On Tuesday, Williams, 45, of Groveland (Tuolumne County) appeared in an Oakland courtroom on charges that he tried to murder four CHP officers. Authorities described him as a heavily armed man determined not to return to prison. Bullets from the suspect’s rifle could penetrate ballistic body armor and vehicles, police said.”

Another report provides telling quotes from Williams’ mother, Janice Williams of Groveland, who apparently shared her son’s conspiratorial anti-government sentiment:

She said her son, who had been a carpenter and a cabinetmaker before his imprisonment, was angry about his unemployment and about “what’s happening to our country.”

Williams watched the news on television and was upset by “the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items,” his mother said. […]

“She said she then checked the locked safe where she kept her guns, all legally purchased and owned, and found that they were also missing. Janice Williams said she kept the guns because “eventually, I think we’re going to be caught up in a revolution.” But she said she had told her son many times that “he didn’t have to be on the front lines.”

Before Williams’ thwarted revolution against the “left-wing agenda,” there have been other zealots recently, hyped up on right-wing rhetoric that have engaged in violent behavior. As noted by Steve Benen of the Political Animal, Williams anti-government “revolution” has become an all too common occurrence:

“These examples of politically-motivated attacks seem to keep piling up. Just this year, John Patrick Bedell opened fire at the Pentagon; Joe Stack flew an airplane into a building; Jerry Kane Jr. and his son killed two police officers in Arkansas; and the Hutaree Militia terrorist plot was uncovered. Last year, James von Brunn opened fire at the Holocaust memorial museum; Richard Poplawski gunned down three police officers in Pittsburgh, in part because he feared the non-existent “Obama gun ban”; and Dr. George Tiller was assassinated. In 2008, Jim David Adkisson opened fire in a Unitarian church in Tennessee, in part because of his “hatred of the liberal movement.”

Williams is being held without bail and under the three-strikes law, faces 25-years to life in prison.


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