Armed Posse Catches Criminal in Ashtabula



Rumored to be in talks for the big screen adaptation.
  • Rumored to be in talks for the big screen adaptation.

Readers might remember Ashtabula County Common Please Judge Alfred Mackey and his call to arms. This spring Mackey made the NRA’s Christmas card list when he told locals they should carry guns after budget cuts seriously slashed the local Sheriff department’s presence. The comment set off the usual squawking between 2nd Amendment advocates and those of us who lose sleep over roving bands of vigilantes on shoot-to-kill orders.

It turns out at least one group of concerned cowboys actually heeded the advice. According to Fox 8, farmer John Kusar and a locked-and-loaded posse of friends tracked down a wanted criminal and put him under citizen’s arrest. 56 year-old Lee Nash was wanted by police in connection with a break-in; Nash was hiding in a trailer on Kusar’s property when the gang found him. We’ll let G.I. John take it from here:

“I got outta my truck, I loaded my gun, I took my safety off, I walked up to the door and flung the door open with the barrel of my gun and he was laying in there, sleeping with a sawed-off shotgun next to him,” he told Fox 8.

Ashtabula officers later took Nash into custody. Sheriff William Johnson told Fox 8 he doesn’t recommend that citizens take justice into their own hands, but understands why Kusar and friends went all John Wayne. He does, however, sound a little worried about what could potentially happen with a county full of action-heroes.

"I don't think anybody would be wrong by saying we're an accident ready to happen the way things are going and it's not going to be a good outcome," said Sheriff Johnson. The sheriff says he was short more than a million dollars after his budget was slashed by the County Commissioners. They didn't return calls for a comment, but the sheriff is now suing them for more money and claiming they're compromising safety.

As for Kusar, he seems pretty glib about the whole thing, particularly for a guy who was just a couple of Zs away from a violent altercation.

“I was prepared to do what I had to do,” he told the station. “If it was going to be me or him, I was going to survive.”

Does anyone else feel a little uncomfortable with this insouciant attitude toward bloodshed coming from an untrained amateur? Yes, these guys knew how to handle a firearm, and everyone has a right to protect their family and property; but calling in a cavalry and playing real-life Rainbow Six? That’s some next level shit, in terms of training and disposition. It looks like everyone dodged a bullet this time (pun intended).



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