Committee of Digital Correspondence
September 9, 2011
Committee of Digital Correspondence
Amelia Foxwell, Correspondent
Part 4 - How Fear Becomes Anger
As Carla continues her story, we begin to see glimpses of change. Not just small changes, but those of private thought, feelings and the realization of hard truths that cannot help but design of a new world for her family. Many people have read about or watched movies like this before. Thankfully, however, experiencing this firsthand is something few of us have been through. At this point, Carla and her family have already become victims and how they handle their experience will shape the rest of their lives. What Carla describes in the pages to come are the actions of a terrified family beginning to ask questions. Questions many never bother to ask. The answers to these questions begin to leave them with another emotion entirely... anger.
Carla continues her story:
Before I could think, I was ushered to the interior of the vehicle that had apparently awakened me. Armed men stood guard around it (and around my family). I would describe it as a kind of ambulance looking truck that was painted black. It had an ominous red glow on the inside with two benches running parallel to each other in the back. I was told to sit on the passenger side bench near the front seat. Two officers (or agents) were discussing their surprise at the man's [Charles] ability to move around and evade them -- with all of his gear. It was obvious that they needed to know what I had observed about "the guy with the red duffle bag".
I was asked if he was a "skinhead", to which I responded by describing his dark hair. I was asked if he was wearing a plaid shirt, and I could only respond with a "no". After I described everything I had noticed about the young man, I asked, what was he wanted for, and why they were after him with such obvious force? My questions yielded nothing beyond a comment that they had already retrieved the "red bag". I was then instructed to get in my car with my family and leave the park immediately. I asked about our camper and was told that someone would call me... and that we would get it back "eventually".
My husband and boys were already waiting for me in our car when they brought me out of the red glow of the "black ambulance". I was still terrified and joined my family, hurriedly. We drove away from our camper and headed toward the front of the park. Before we were allowed to leave, I was stopped again and questioned by yet another FBI agent, accompanied by a Park Police Officer. Again, I was asked if the young man was a "skinhead".
I began to understand what a peasant I was to these men when I found myself being grateful that these guys at least seemed a little more pleasant. They actually let me go to the bathroom. That, sadly, would be all of the courtesy and sympathy I would get from the FBI because the officers felt it was necessary to observe my every action, though, I finally was allowed to go to the bathroom.
When I got back in the car, we drove out the main entrance to the park, which proved somewhat tricky. Never in my life had I seen this much law enforcement! By my estimation, (at the very least) there were 200 officers of various law enforcement agencies. There were SWAT vehicles, horses, dogs, helicopters and an FBI command center! There were vehicles pulling into the park one after another. For fifteen minutes, we sat and waited while officer after officer produced identification in order to enter the park.
As we were finally allowed to leave, we noticed an area where the other evicted campers were gathering. Everyone was standing around in their pajamas with mixed looks of fright and confusion. There were several children who had been similarly rousted from their sleep in the night. Everyone had to go. We were very lucky that we lived so close to the campground and we headed home in our pajamas, leaving behind all of our "family camp" possessions. We did not forget to thank God that we had a home to go to! Others might not be so lucky.
We got home around 2:00 a.m. and tried to get the kids back in bed. They were beside themselves and didn't know what to think. Fortunately, my youngest went to sleep pretty quickly. My oldest cried himself to sleep sometime after 3:00 a.m. with me holding him in my arms while we lay in my bed. His last words were him begging me not to return him to his own bed. I told him not to worry, that I wouldn't.
While I was comforting my son, my husband hit the internet trying to find anything at all that might help explain what we had just gone through. How could something be this huge, yet we had received absolutely no news out about it? I was thinking that we had been close to a serial killer, or maybe a mass murdering terrorist! Whoever this guy was, he had to be the worst of the worst!
As mad as I was at that moment I was still thinking that when I found out who this guys was, I would understand why they treated my family and me as criminals! There would be no sleep for my husband and me that night.
The combined effect of shock, fear and sleep deprivation made me a little impatient, I suppose. I began calling the campground park office. A gracious park employee responded to each of my calls. I was surprised to learn that even the park personnel were given next to no information concerning this massive manhunt or the "dangerous" mystery man.
The hours drug by in torturous silence. Our feverish internet research to find out who this man was became painful. Even though we felt as if we were very much involved, in the end we were to find out along with everyone else who the "bad guy" was.
At noon, we received a call informing us to come get our camper. We were told we would be escorted in by police; we would be "observed" while we packed up and then escorted out of the park. At least this was handled by the park police, who were not forceful and commanding like SWAT, but kind and friendly. They very much helped ease our sons' fears by keeping them company while we packed up.
After returning home, we continued to watch, and anxiously await, every newscast aired. It was still quite awhile before we mercifully learned a name from the news. Charles Allen Dyer. Finally! A name to help begin to put this all together. The very first information we received was what the news put out. "Accused child rapist and militia member!"
My initial thought was, "Wow, that's bad"...then...wait a minute...did they say "accused"? WHAT??!! You mean this isn't an escaped convict? This isn't a convicted felon of SOME KIND?! "Okay", I thought, "there's got to be more, it just isn't on the news yet. I'll find out about it on the internet!" So I began to read everything I could find for the next two days.
During those two days, the manhunt for Charles A. Dyer was growing in size and intensity. His picture was continuously displayed on TV. I began to marvel at this young man's ability to slip past all of the law enforcement that had been deployed. The news reported possible sightings in various towns just a short distance up the road from of us. It appeared that Charles was headed our way. His ability to continue on foot through the massive manpower and technology that we had observed first-hand caused me to actually question God, "Are you helping this man?"
Marvel wasn't the only emotion this situation evoked. I also began to grow ANGRY at the fact that I couldn't find any documents or evidence indicating he was actually guilty of anything other than a traffic ticket up until the day he didn't show up for court. I mean Momma Bear angry. I need some answers RIGHT NOW angry!
End Part 4
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