Meet the Grays. Ever since patriarch John Joe Gray bit a police officer and tried to grab his gun during a traffic stop turned domestic-terrorism scare he’s been holed up on his 47 acre farm in Texas. That was 11 years ago and Gray refuses to leave out of contempt for the American government and the judicial system he doesn’t believe applies to him.
There used to be an entire militia guarding his homestead. Now all that remains are an untold number of family members (John Joe refuse to give the exact number). The faded and tattered warning signs are all that is left. The last vestiges of the longest American stand-off in history which shows no signs of stopping.
After the fated traffic stop in which police discovered automatic weaponry in Gray’s car, Gray showed up to one bail hearing, posted bail and then never returned. A letter arrived some time later informing authorities that they’d ‘better bring plenty of body bags’ if they wished to bring Gray in. He rallied his troops, his (now absent) militia and began living off the land. A practice he’s continued ever since – especially since his property has no running water or electricity.
Gray hasn’t paid property taxes since 1995 racking up a debt of $12,700 in back taxes and interest penalties. But police believe it’s too dangerous for deputies to serve notice of the suit filed in 2008, and until that happens, the case cannot proceed.
Yet years have passed and for the most part the Grays have been living a peaceful – if solitary – life on the ranch. Three sheriffs have come and gone since that traffic stop in that time and none of them have shown much interest in stepping onto the property. Although Sheriff Ray Nutt acknowledges that a peaceful meeting could occur, so could a violent one and quite frankly, nobody really seems to care all that much.
Not that some haven’t tried to resolve the issue. I want to quote this in its entirety:
Later, Chuck Norris, martial artist, actor, right-wing Christian book author and fellow Texan, met with Gray at his ranch and offered to get him free legal representation in an attempt to end the standoff. ‘There’s two people that family looks up to: Mel Gibson and Chuck,’ an intermediary said. But even Norris couldn’t resolve the impasse.
However should Gray ever steps off that property he will be arrested. Until then, the stand-off continues….
(Source: Daily Mail)