An Army veteran in New York was engaged in a six-hour standoff with law enforcement over the weekend, reportedly “crying wolf” over an alleged “Red Flag Law” confiscation and sending the internet into a frenzy.
In what remains a controversial case with multiple sides giving different accounts, the arrest of Alexander Booth -who goes by the Instagram handle “Whiskey_Warrior_556”- became a white-hot (although short-lived) issue overnight.
The Westchester County veteran was initially contacted by local law enforcement after a deputy allegedly heard what he thought was a gunshot coming from Booth’s home. In response to the supposed gunshot, nearby homes were evacuated and back-up was called to the scene.
“The officer hearing what he believed to be a gunshot come from the residence requested backup,” read a press release sent out by the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office. “When additional officers arrived Mr. Booth was observed in the doorway acting in an agitated state before returning inside his garage apartment and barricading himself. As a safety precaution officers evacuated the neighboring houses and alerted the Putnam County Emergency Response Team and Negotiation Team.”
Posting the standoff on Instagram, Booth initially told the world that the matter was a “Red Flag Law” seizure related to 30-round standard-capacity magazines, which are illegal in New York State. However, no weapons or ammunition were found at the scene.
In response to what they felt was an unjust seizure and action by law enforcement, many people reportedly arrived to disrupt police operations- with one individual even sending Booth a pizza from Dominos.
“The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office has been inundated with calls and social media messages from citizens expressing concern about a police response in the Town of Carmel,” a Facebook message about the standoff read. “The incident was widely reported to be a law enforcement effort to seize firearms under ‘Red Flag’ laws. This information is incorrect. The law enforcement response and subsequent arrest was related to a domestic violence investigation. The citizen involved is safe and in police custody.”
It should be noted that the domestic violence-related charges brought up against Booth were from a prior incident that allegedly took place a considerable amount of time before the standoff ever transpired. As no weapons were found inside of the home, it is unknown what the “gunshot” allegedly heard by the deputy could have been.
According to Heavy, Booth was in the US Army Infantry and deployed to Afghanistan at 19 years of age, referring to the mountainous country as “one of the most sh*tty, hostile places on the planet.”
The story has left a bitter taste in the mouth of people from all walks of life, ranging from then-supporters of Booth -who accuse him of “crying wolf” for assistance- to law enforcement unsure how future operations will be treated.
“It really makes you think about it,” said one law enforcement officer, who also served in the military and agreed to speak to Popular Military under condition of anonymity. “I can see how these laws can be abused, but I also have to enforce them if there are no clear infringements. It does make you think twice about how they should be carried out if absolutely necessary.”
The internet response shocked the LEO, and was the subject of conversation among his fellow veteran officers. “Our state has a lot of Red Flag seizures,” he said. “Many guys I served with are very clear on how they think these things would go down if it happened to them. They have every right to feel that way…It’s the spirit of the country and all. I just hope they find a better way for use to carry these things out.”
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