An Army National Guardsman and Iraq war veteran found himself in jail, charged with “committing a terroristic act and wearing body armor while committing a felony offense” after he was arrested while jogging and holding an air-soft gun.
William Everett Alemar was taken into custody after police in Martinsburg, W.Va. responded to multiple calls at 7 a.m. on Aug. 20 about a man running down the road near a school in army fatigues and a protective vest, clutching what looked like an assault rifle, The Herald Mail reports.
Shortly after, three officers reportedly pulled their weapons and ordered Alemar to the ground and took the rifle from his hands.
Police soon found out that the rifle was merely an air-soft “training” AR-15 rifle that anyone can buy at their local sporting goods store. The Herald Mail reports the gun also had the “red tip” that indicates it was a toy gun. However, police also found two knives, a number of empty rifle magazines and ceramic plates in his vest.
Alemar is currently being held on $50,000 bail for the designated “terrorist act,” the paper reports.
Police say the veteran’s actions caused the community to view him as an immediate threat.
“My son is not a terrorist, he’s a good kid,” Alemar’s dad told reporters. He said his son was trying to stay in shape for his next military assignment.
Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely told The Herald Mail Thursday that Alemar was actually drunk, registering a .213 blood-alcohol reading. The legal limit for motorists in West Virginia is .08 percent.
While there is certainly an argument to be made that running with anything that resembles a rifle and also carrying knives and empty magazines — especially when intoxicated — is unintelligent, there will surely be some debate over whether his actions warranted being charged with a felony and labeled a “terrorist.”
What do you think, did the punishment fit the crime?