‘Sovereign Citizen’ Killed After Trying To Steal Cop’s Taser In Altercation

June 22, 2011 1:45 a.m.

A police officer investigating a domestic violence complaint shot and killed Arizona businessman William Foust, who is a sovereign citizen, during an altercation in which Foust allegedly tried to steal the officer’s taser.Officer Shawn Wilson arrived at B & T Marine, a boat shop in Page, Arizona owned by Foust, after police had received a 911 call complaining of a domestic violence incident taking place.

Foust had left the building by the time Wilson arrived, according to a report from the police department. Wilson was talking with the victim when Foust returned and was “upset, loud and confrontational with the officer.” Todd Glasenapp and Larry Hendricks of the Arizona Daily Sun report that during an ensuing physical altercation outside of the store, Foust tried to grab Wilson’s taser.

“The officer discharged his service weapon, striking Foust,” according to a press release from the sheriff’s office. Foust was taken to a nearby hospital and later pronounced dead.

Wilson is now on paid leave pending an investigation into the incident.

It’s not clear exactly if or how Foust’s ties to the sovereign citizen movement factored into the incident, but he was imprisoned in December for claiming sovereign citizenship during a hearing on a speeding ticket.

From the Daily Sun:

Foust had made a slew of filings, including an affidavit of political status, Uniform Commercial Code financing statement, a property list, power of attorney, commercial security agreement, indemnity bond, hold harmless and indemnity agreement, non-negotiable security agreement, legal notice and demand definitions, along with a motion to dismiss.

He also refused to provide his birth date to the court, failed to appear and was charged with contempt. His fine for a traffic violation increased from $115 to $1,052. The contempt fine was later reduced to $250.

Sovereign citizens generally believe that almost all forms of government in the U.S. are illegitimate, and though many assert themselves through fake license plates and false liens, others resort to violence when confronted with law enforcement.

Masthead Masthead
Editor & Publisher:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Senior Newswriters:
Editor at Large:
General Manager & General Counsel:
Executive Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: