A self-proclaimed neo-Nazi and recruiter for a newly formed Arizona milita group was shot and wounded by FBI agents as they attempted to arrest one of his associates.
Kalen Robert Riddle, 22, was wounded on September 15, 2004 as federal agents attempted to arrest his associate, Casey James Nethercott, a former member of the border vigilante group Ranch Rescue, on a warrant for threatening to assault agents with the U.S. Border Patrol. The incident took place in a parking lot outside a Douglas, Arizona, supermarket. Riddle was later listed in critical condition at a hospital in Tuscon. He has not been charged with a crime.
Nethercott, 37, was charged with threatening to assault U.S. Border Patrol agents with "intent to impede, intimidate, and interfere" with their duties. A complaint supporting the arrest warrant indicates that Nethercott had threatened the federal agents with a "shootout."
According to the complaint, the charges stemmed from an earlier encounter with U.S. Border Patrol Agents on August 31. Nethercott allegedly refused to stop his vehicle for U.S. Border Patrol Agents and continued driving to his ranch in Douglas.
When the agents arrived at Nethercott's ranch, they found Riddle waiting with a weapon. When they asked Riddle to show his hands and get on the ground, Nethercott told him not to comply. "I'm going to take care of this myself, we're going to have to have a shootout," Nethercott allegedly said.
The situation calmed after Cochise Countysheriff's deputies arrived at the ranch. The incident was later reported to the FBI, which obtained the arrest warrant for Nethercott.
In August, Nethercott was sentenced in Texas to five years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm. The case stemmed from an incident in which Nethercott was accused of detaining and assaulting a pair of Salvadoran immigrants and beating one with a pistol.
Nethercott and Riddle had been members of Ranch Rescue, a border vigilante group, but had recently broken with its founder. Following the split they led an effort to recruit armed volunteers to join a new group called Arizona Guard. On its Web site, the Arizona Guard claims to be "an Organized Militia dedicated to the defense of American Patriotism and to help local ranchers and citizens defend property from illegal alien activity and drug running operations." It asks volunteers to carry firearms on missions. According to Nethercott, his militia has 10 to 15 mne and "more military and police experience" than the "sheriff's department has on any weekend."
Originally from Aberdeen, Washington, Riddle created his own Web site where he posted pictures of himself holding a rifle and dressed in a Nazi uniform. On it, he claimed that two of his favorite things were "ethnic cleansing and weapon making."