Walter F. Fitzpatrick III, a retired Navy veteran, was arrested by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday for allegedly breaking into the Monroe County Clerk of Court's office and stealing documents that had personal information about potential grand jury members for the coming year.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that local officials say they have courthouse surveillance video of Fitzpatrick.
A spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, Jennifer Bledsoe, said in a press release Wednesday that earlier that day she had met with the potential grand jury members, who filled out forms with their personal information. "At the completion of the meeting the papers were in the courtroom," she said. "The clerk noticed the papers missing and the videotape of the area was reviewed. The video showed an individual positively identified as Fitzpatrick walk over to the desk where the items were and remove the documents."
After obtaining an arrest warrant, Bledsoe said, authorities attempted to arrest Fitzpatrick, but he "refused to come to the door" and they had to go in by force.
The documents were not found.
Fitzpatrick is a leader of the birther and Patriot group American Grand Jury, which believes President Obama is treasonous. He previously got into some legal trouble after writing up 24 citizen's arrest warrants for officials at the federal, state and local levels, calling them "domestic enemies" and describing President Obama as an "illegal alien, infiltrator and impostor."
In April 2010, Fitzpatrick attempted to conduct a citizen's arrest on Grand Jury Foreman Gary Pettway because Pettway would not agree to convene a grand jury to investigate the AGC's belief that Obama is not a natural-born citizen."I'm charging you with official misconduct," Fitzpatrick told him. "I'm placing you under arrest. You must now come with me." Fitzpatrick was then charged with inciting a riot, disrupting an official public meeting, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Darren Huff, an Oathkeeper and ally of Fitzpatrick, was convicted in October for trying to take over a courthouse in retaliation for Fitzpatrick's legal troubles on April 20, 2010, the day Fitzpatrick was scheduled to stand trial. Huff will be sentenced in February and faces up to five years in prison.