Article – After 16-year standoff, Gray will find a changed Texas

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I first mentioned this guy when his standoff was ten years old.

The past decade has taken a toll on John Joe Gray, holed up on his rural East Texas land while waiting for a siege that’s never happened.

He’s been living on 47 acres behind a fence without running water and electricity but with plenty of guns, daring authorities to arrest him for a 10-year-old, third-degree felony warrant. He says he hasn’t left his property since 2000, all the while allowing his distrust of a government he views as evil to fester.

Apparently, last year the prosecutors figured his self-imposed house arrest was 150% of the maximum penalty he would have received, and dropped the charges.

The longest and possibly most bizarre stand-off in American history has come to an end.

John Joe Gray, from Trinidad, near Dallas, Texas, was arrested in 1999 for biting a police officer after the cop found he was carrying high-powered rifles without a license during a traffic stop.

Gray paid his bond and has since refused to go to court, hiding inside his 47-acre property for 16 years and vowing to shoot any officer of the law who tries to make him leave.

The bearded grandfather, his children, grandchildren and friends have armed themselves with pistols and rifles and patrolled their grounds ever since – with the county sheriff choosing not to send cops in for fear of them being killed.

But the unusual stalemate has finally come to an end after the authorities decided they just could not be bothered to wait for Gray to emerge any longer.

I am fascinated by this. It is very seldom that someone outlasts a police interest in them. I’m not sure what’s more impressive….this guy’s determination to spend 15 years in self-imposed house arrest or the local law enforcement picking up their ball and going home.

And both sides can call it a win. They hermit gets to say he outlasted the cops and the cops get to say he spent 150% of the maximum penalty locked awa47-acre cell.

But…it’s Texas, so there is that.