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'Sovereign Citizen' Learns Stop Signs Apply To Him

By David Owens, The Hartford Courant
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Aug. 01--WATERBURY -- A Louisiana man who claims to be a "sovereign citizen," part of a movement whose adherents claim they have no obligation obey the law, pay taxes or even possess a driver's license, found out Tuesday that stop signs apply to everyone.

Richard Moore, 41, who gave police an address in Denham Springs, La., was driving his 1999 Land Rover with expired Georgia license plates through Southbury on Tuesday when police say he ran through a stop sign. Court records indicate that Moore is homeless.

Southbury Officer Francis Tierney stopped Moore and asked him for his license and registration, police said. Moore responded that he did not have one because he is a "sovereign citizen" and that the right to travel is afforded to people by the Constitution, according to a police report.

Moore also did not have any insurance or registration documents, police said.

Moore then asked Tierney if he was going to take him to jail, according to the report, and Tierney said he asked Moore to get out of his vehicle.

Moore "refused to do so and began to roll up his window," Tierney wrote in his report. "I was able to put a small baton between the top of the window and the door frame to prevent the window from closing completely."

Tierney then called for other officers to assist him.

Moore eventually got out of his vehicle and was taken into custody, police said. Police checked the contents of his car and turned a small dog he had over to Southbury's animal control officer.

Police charged Moore with interfering with an officer, failing to stop for a stop sign, driving an unregistered vehicle, driving without a license and driving without insurance and held on $40,000 bail.

At his arraignment Wednesday in Superior Court in Waterbury, his bail was reduced to $5,000.

Police also determined there were outstanding arrest warrants for Moore for failure to appear in court in Hartford for motor vehicle charges, including failing stop at a stop sign.

Not all encounters between sovereign citizens and police have ended so peacefully. Since 2000, sovereign citizen extremists have killed six police officers, according to the FBI.

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"The FBI considers sovereign-citizen extremists as comprising a domestic terrorist movement, which, scattered across the United States, has existed for decades," according to the FBI's website. They do not recognize federal, state, or local laws, policies, or regulations.

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(c)2014 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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