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Soldiers Held at Gunpoint While Moving Vaccines

Arizona man, 66, charged in Texas
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2021 9:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – A group of 11 unarmed National Guardsmen was held at gunpoint while transporting coronavirus vaccines in Texas on Monday. A male driver had followed a convoy of vehicles from a travel stop in Lubbock before repeatedly attempting to run the vehicles off the road, police tell WAFB. He then used his truck to block the roadway, forcing 11 Guardsmen in three vehicles to stop. The suspect, who claimed he was a detective, pointed a loaded gun at the unarmed but uniformed soldiers and demanded to search their vehicles, police say. The Guardsmen, who'd been transporting vaccines to Matador, complied. The suspect—identified as Larry Harris of Willcox, Ariz.—later told Idalou Police that he thought the vehicles' occupants had kidnapped a woman and child.

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Idalou Police arrested Harris, 66, without further incident. "He put the gun in the front of his pants when he saw officers arriving," Police Chief Eric Williams tells KCBD. He had a loaded .45 caliber pistol, was carrying a loaded magazine, and had another in his truck, police say. "This was a very dangerous situation since the suspect was standing in the midst of the unarmed Guardsman with a loaded weapon when the Idalou Officers arrived on scene," Williams says, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He adds Harris "appeared to be mentally erratic" and was not after the vaccines "as far as we know," per KCBD. He's charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful restraint, unlawful carrying of a weapon, impersonating a public servant, and interference with Texas military forces. (Read more Texas stories.)

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