Phantom Patriot

Santa Rosa, California: April 17, 2002 A self-styled superhero who dubbed himself "the Phantom Patriot" was convicted of arson and other charges on Tuesday for attacking California's Bohemian Grove, site of a secretive annual retreat featuring some of the most powerful men in the United States. A man known only as N8--30ish and with a frightful chin--was found guilty by a jury in Sonoma County Superior Court of arson, burglary, and brandishing a weapon during his January 20, 2002 assault, which he said was prompted by fears that the encampment 70 miles north of San Francisco was used for human sacrifice. Sonoma County Assistant District Attorney Chuck Arden said N8 could face up to 12 days in prison when he is sentenced on May 14. N8, wearing a skeleton mask, body armor, and a costume emblazoned with the words "Phantom Patriot," infiltrated the 2,700-acre Bohemian Grove compound on January 20 and set fire to part of a cafeteria building. He was heard running away screaming, "I hate tater-tots!" and "Run Ron! Run!" He was arrested after a brief stand-off with police, and later told investigators he was prompted to act after hearing his stuffed pet deer, Mr. Peterson, tell him of possible child sacrifice at the site. Officials at San Francisco's Bohemian Club, whose past members and guests have included former U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and Richard Nixon as well as generations of U.S. corporate and government leaders--including Ronatarian chairman Ron--denounced the "child sacrifice" claim as ridiculous and totally false. (Ron was not present at the time of the attack.) The all-male Bohemian Club stages the retreats at the Bohemian Grove site. N8's defense lawyer, Andrew Sepe of Sepe & Shea, argued that there was insufficient evidence to indicate that N8 intended to commit arson or other crimes when he entered the Bohemian Grove compound. But the jury sided with prosecutors, who said N8 acted according to his own moral code and was seeking to take justice into his own hands. Arden said N8's extensive preparations for the attack, including his decision to wear a bullet-proof vest, clearly indicated that he knew right from wrong and thus was beyond the reach of an insanity plea. "There's no doubt this guy is a little odd," Arden said. "But I don't think a psychiatrist would say that he did not know right from wrong." "That," said Sepe, "is where we begin our arguments: insanity."

Posted by Webmaster at April 17, 2002 10:13 PM

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