Skip to comments.Ranch Rescue(my insertion)Volunteer Denies Beating at Border
Posted on 03/24/2003 10:58:49 AM PST by libertylass
Volunteer denies beating on border
By John MacCormack San Antonio Express-News
Web Posted : 03/22/2003 12:00 AM
The leader of the border watch group Ranch Rescue denied Friday that two of its volunteer members detained and beat a Salvadoran they caught crossing a ranch in Jim Hogg County. "That never happened. It's a fabrication," said Jack Foote of Abilene, who said he was present Wednesday evening when his group caught two Salvadorans on an exotic game ranch about 160 miles south of San Antonio.
Foote said two armed volunteers, with the help of a large dog, discovered the Salvadorans hiding in the grass after they saw two large groups of people scale an eight-foot game fence and scatter.
The two Ranch Rescue volunteers were arrested Thursday and charged with beating the Salvadoran with a gun.
But a French photojournalist covering the group's South Texas operation said the immigrants were treated humanely.
"I know exactly what happened. I was a witness. No one hit them," Eric Boye said. "There was firmness but no brutality or violence. Absolutely not."
"They received blankets, water and food, and the man who is in jail now is the man who gave water to the two Salvadorans," Boye said.
Foote said the two undocumented immigrants were taken unharmed to the ranch gate and let go. They were apparently picked up later by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Ranch Rescue is a volunteer group that provides armed patrols to border area ranchers who claim the U.S. Border Patrol is not protecting them or their property from undocumented immigrant trespassers.
"Our motto is 'Private property first, foremost and always,'" Foote said.
"We volunteer our time and travel at our own risk and expense to the border to assist these landowners in dealing with the damage and lawlessness," he said.
According to the complaint by the unnamed Salvadoran, Henry M. Conner Jr., 62, of Lafayette, La, and James N. Casey, 35, of La Mirada Calif., tracked him and a companion down with a dog, threatened his life, and beat him with a weapon.
The two are charged with aggravated assault and unlawful restraint and remained in the Jim Hogg County Jail on Friday in lieu of $200,000 bond.
They were arrested Thursday by Texas Ranger Doyle Holdridge after he took a statement from the Salvadoran. He said the complainant "had a knot on the back of his head about half the size of your fist."
"Pistol whipping illegal aliens and slicing dogs on them is not something that's going to be tolerated in this country," said Holdridge, who said his investigation of the incident is continuing.
The Ranger said a planned Friday afternoon meeting with Foote and ranch owner Joe Sutton was called off by Sutton, who cited the need for legal representation.
Holdridge said he fears more violence could result from armed Ranch Rescue volunteers that patrol after dark in the underbrush, some with semiautomatic rifles.
"This is a very high-volume illegal alien area. You've got deputies who work out there, and U.S. Border Patrol agents, and you mingle these two kinds of groups, it could really cause a problem," he said.
"If you're a police officer, out there in the darkness, and someone raises up out of the brush in full camo with an assault rifle, what are you going to think?" he said. "It's a disaster waiting to happen."
Ranch Rescue's "Operation Falcon" on Sutton's ranch is the sixth since the group was founded almost three years ago. Never before, said Foote, has a group member been arrested.
He declined to say how many volunteers are involved.
Reached by telephone, Sutton declined to comment. He referred questions to his Houston lawyer, Marvin Rader, who said the ranch owner does not condone violence against trespassers.
"I can't imagine this happened. We gave everyone instructions not to use violence or force, or aim a gun at anyone," Rader said of the alleged beating.
He said Sutton's 5,000-acre ranch, a few miles south of the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on Texas 16, is a main thoroughfare for northbound undocumented immigrants trying to evade detection.
"There are literally hundreds of them crossing his property every week. It's dangerous. You don't know who they are. You don't know if they are terrorists, and some of them are armed," he said.
Rader said Sutton sought help from Ranch Rescue because local and federal authorities have failed to stem the flow.
"It's really very simple. The Border Patrol and the sheriff won't do their job. They won't remove these trespassers from his property," he said.
"When he calls them, they either take their time coming down there, or they don't come at all," Rader said.
Mike Herrera, a spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol in Laredo, referred an inquiry about this complaint to an agency spokesman in Washington D.C.
The spokesman, Mario Villarreal, said he was not familiar with the specifics of the situation in Jim Hogg County and could not comment.
As you may have already heard, we just concluded Operation Falcon early, not just because our nation went to war with Iraq while we were there on the property, but due to two of our volunteers, Casey Nethercott and Hank Conner, being arrested that same day on false charges by a corrupt county Sheriff and County Attorney in Jim Hogg County, Texas.
This is the very same county Sheriff who had just the week before had his letter published in the local paper, warning his county's Citizens of the danger of armed foreign paramilitary groups that have been operating in Jim Hogg County: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=31553.
Our volunteers were on private property as the invited guests of the landowner, to assist him with dealing with this threat that had been publicized by this same Sheriff, who admitted to WorldNetDaily reporter Jon Dougherty that he was not talking about Ranch Rescue activities when he wrote his letter, but about an organized criminal enterprise. The county's chief deputy sheriff, Guadalupe Rodriguez, said to Dougherty that he believed the armed men were foreign nationals but not just ordinary drug smugglers.
God knows what they might be carrying. FOX News broadcast a report about Iraqi terrorists planning to smuggle a weapon of mass destruction across the Texas border.
Nethercott and Conner have been in jail for five days already and STILL have not been appointed an attorney. The intent of the County Attorney has been purely to stall all efforts to secure their release and to stonewall all attempts to provide them with legal counsel. Nethercott and Conner were even denied medical treatment for the first two days after their arrest. Conner requires blood pressure medication and Nethercott requires insulin, yet neither were provided for their first 48 hours of incarceration. This is an outrage! This is the behavior of rogue states like Iraq and North Korea, not the United States of America.
While we are confident that our volunteers will eventually be exonerated, I am sure you can appreciate the significant expense that will be involved in defending them against these trumped-up charges. That expense appears to be the only real reason why these charges were ever brought in the first place.
This whole affront is made even worse by the fact that we have been forced to withdraw all of our volunteers from our host's property, leaving him and his wife at the mercy of the hordes of criminals, some armed, that have been pouring across this property 30 miles north of our southern border. This points out the very real dangers that all of us face whenever we volunteer to assist border county landowners who suffer not only from the predations of the hordes of criminals that pour across their property, but also from the neglect and criminal behavior of rogue law enforcement agencies who behave as though in league with the smugglers. They are thugs, not respectable servants of their Citizens.
Please read about the details of this at http://news.mysanantonio.com/story.cfm?xla=saen&xlc=967248 . Please spread the word about what is happening to our courageous volunteers.
Please donate to the legal defense fund that we have set up. Our website has a link for online donations via PayPal and credit card.
Jack Foote National Spokesman for Border Rescue/Ranch Rescue USA http://www.ranchrescue.com State Coordinator for Ranch Rescue Texas
From what I've read this is a highly unlikely senerio. Not the guy in the bushes but the LEO, looking for aliens at any time, especially after dark.
Try again sir.
If this occured in California 80% of the community would be Hispanic and 20% would be unregulated aliens.
This majority is composed of a plurality (35%) who directly or generationally gained residence through unregulated immigration and the balance of this group are ultraliberals who welcome the influx based on compassion.
i.e., through invasion. So if a plurality of the vote is based on invasion by a foreign populace, then are we free?
Or do we live under the laws of their country, not ours?