No Bull, No Fluff, No Smudges
Your news source for
Flagler, Florida and Beyond

Man Arrested Near Winn Dixie on Weapons Charges Invokes “Sovereign Citizen” Claim, Then Trouble Escalates

| May 8, 2017

Sheriff Rick Staly, right, happened to be at the Flagler County jail this morning when corrections deputies conducted a forced extraction of inmate Michael Grube, who had allegedly refused to cooperate in all manners and declared himself a 'sovereign citizen' who did not have to abide by laws or directions, and so was [placed in a restraint chair. He later relented and was booked. (FCSO)

Sheriff Rick Staly, right, happened to be at the Flagler County jail this morning when corrections deputies conducted a forced extraction of inmate Michael Grube, who had allegedly refused to cooperate in all manners and declared himself a ‘sovereign citizen’ who did not have to abide by laws or directions, and so was [placed in a restraint chair. He later relented and was booked. (FCSO)

Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy Jason Williams had a taste of much worse to come when he arrested Michael Alan Grube behind Winn-Dixie at Flagler Plaza on illegal weapons charges right after midnight this morning. Grube would not cooperate with Williams–would barely speak to him, wouldn’t follow his commands, though he admitted to not having a concealed weapon permit for the brass knuckles and the loaded Glock the cop found.


It got a lot worse at the Flagler County jail, where Grube, 30, declared himself a “sovereign citizen,” refused to cooperate with the booking process, demolished some property, blocked the surveillance camera in his holding cell, and ended up getting pepper-sprayed, forcibly extracted from his cell in front of Sheriff Rick Staly, and strapped in the jail’s restraining chair for a few hours before noon today. By 2 p.m., he’d relented and allowed his fingerprints to be taken and the booking process to be completed, though he’d copped an additional charge of criminal mischief.

The “sovereign citizen” movement is a cultish but growing subculture of extremists whose members pick and choose the laws they follow and the laws they don’t, who don’t recognize government authority, don’t believe in paying taxes, and who often use various levels of violence to make their point. The FBI considers the trend “as comprising a domestic terrorist movement,” citing the example of Jerry Kane who, during a traffic stop, got out of his car and fired an AK-47 at two police officers, murdering them both. “Sovereign citizen”‘s behavior is often inspired by anti-Semitism or other forms of bigotry, and is tracked for its extremism by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Grube’s arrest does not necessarily indicate a new strain of “sovereign citizens” in Palm Coast or Flagler: he is from Oviedo, at least according to the papers he submitted sheriff’s authorities (false plates or papers are part of the movement’s methods).

Deputies were called to Flagler Plaza because of a verbal Grube had parked his black motorcycle behind the plaza, where the deputy came in contact with him, according to Grube’s arrest report. “what appeared to be a black ax handle” was laying across the seat. When the deputy asked him to walk away toward the front of deputy’s patrol car, Grube was “uncooperative.” The arrest report nowhere notes that he had at that point invoked his “sovereignty.” That would come later at the jail. But he did concede to having a firearm on the seat of his motorcycle. A search revealed brass knuckles in his pocket, and the Glock, “on the seat unsecured and in plain sight,” according to the arrest report.

“A check of the weapon was conducted and it was found to be loaded with a round in the chamber,” the report notes. “The location of the firearm was suspicious and appeared as if [Grube] intended on having the firearm in this location for immediate use.”

Grube refused to answer questions and charged with carrying a concealed weapon, a first-degree misdemeanor, and carrying an unlicensed firearm, a third-degree felony.

Michael Grube. sovereign citizen

Michael Grube.

“He refused to cooperate during the booking process, so he was held in a holding cell, and he was not happy. He was pounding on the cell, he had covered up our camera in there with toilet tissue,” said Staly, who happened to be spending the morning and part of the afternoon at the jail as part of the ongoing National Correctional Officers and Employees Week. “We tried to talk to him. He wouldn’t cooperate.”

Grube was ordered to move in certain directions so he could be handcuffed, refused that, so the jail’s CSOT team on duty (Corrections Special Operations Team), a corrections equivalent of the SWAT team, was brought in to execute a forcible cell extraction. “We ultimately had to extract him out of the cell and put him in the restraint chair,” Staly said, closer to 1 p.m., when Grube had yet to cooperate with the booking. “He calmed down pretty quick during that process. So basically he’s in time-out right now. We just handcuffed his hands. He was in the chair for an hour. You have to earn your way out of that chair. We’ve un-handcuffed his hands, and if her behaves and is cooperative, in the next hour then we will take him out of the chair and will direct him in a hallway, certain orders, and if he cooperates in that process then we can finish his booking. He’ll have the opportunity to bond out or stay here until he goes to court the next morning.”

The Flagler County jail's dreaded restraint chair. Click on the image for larger view. (FCSO)

The Flagler County jail’s dreaded restraint chair. Click on the image for larger view. (FCSO)

Staly said the sovereign-citizen movement isn’t new: he’s dealt with it his entire career. “He was displaying and commenting on guns and laws, wouldn’t listen to our deputies and so forth,” Staly said. And even though on occasions such “citizens” will recognize the sheriff, he didn’t get that opportunity this morning. “I doubt he understood I was the sheriff at the point that he was in the chair. We sprayed him with pepper spray at the start of the cell extraction, and that pretty much calmed him down. Then he became much more cooperative.” Staly added: “I did not have to physically lay hands on him. I had a team that was trained to do that, so they did that, but had he gotten out of control, I’d have been right there, because I was within 18 inches, probably a little closer.”

Grube’s booking time at the jail is recorded as 1:13 a.m. today, according to the jail’s website. He remained at the jail on $2,500 bond late this afternoon. By then he’d destroyed a mattress in the cell.

In a 2011 bulletin on “sovereign citizens,” the FBI wrote: “They could be dismissed as a nuisance, a loose network of individuals living in the United States who call themselves “sovereign citizens” and believe that federal, state, and local governments operate illegally. Some of their actions, although quirky, are not crimes. The offenses they do commit seem minor, including regularly false license plates, driver’s licenses, and even currency.

“However, a closer look at sovereign citizens’ more severe crimes, from financial scams to impersonating or threatening law enforcement officials, gives reason for concern. If someone challenges (e.g., a standard traffic stop for false license plates) their ideology, the behavior of these sovereign-citizen extremists quickly can escalate to violence. Since 2000, lone-offender sovereign-citizen extremists have killed six law enforcement officers.”
The bulletin continued: “As sovereign citizens’ numbers grow, so do the chances of contact with law enforcement and, thus, the risks that incidents will end in violence. Law enforcement and judicial officials must understand the sovereign-citizen movement, be able to identify indicators, and know how to protect themselves from the group’s threatening tactics.

Print Friendly

25 Responses for “Man Arrested Near Winn Dixie on Weapons Charges Invokes “Sovereign Citizen” Claim, Then Trouble Escalates”

  1. Wtf says:

    Oh dear God. Help us All🤦‍♂️

  2. Christine kraus says:

    So let’s publish this so a bunch of other people see it and get the idea to do it! Media is the biggest problem these days! Can’t we just be smart about this stuff before we post it???

  3. Geezer says:

    This is your brain on Alex Jones.

  4. Fredrick says:

    “The “sovereign citizen” movement is a cultish but growing subculture of extremists whose members pick and choose the laws they follow and the laws they don’t, “…. sounds like the extremist liberals. We would all just be better off if we had the laws on the books enforced. That goes from immigration to gun control.

  5. woody says:

    That chair works every time.I hope they give him a bill for destroyed property.

  6. Veteran says:

    This is the type of asshole that gives guns a bad name and also one who the most strict gun control would not stop.

  7. YankeeExPat says:

    This is the result of Tea Party inter-breeding with Skin-Heads, ..…sorry evangelical religious folks, but Darwinism does provide examples of proof.

  8. PCer says:

    Sounds like the far right extreme. I hope they throw the book at the guy to make an example of him.

  9. Knightwatch says:

    Welcome to Trump’s America. There will be more like this clown… many more.

  10. Cvw says:

    No, it sounds like extremists, period. Don’t need to start with the liberal nonsense.

  11. Eye Re Serch says:

    Christine kraus, don’t blame Flaglerlive. You should take a look at youtube. This guy is not a true Sovereign Citizen. A legit one would have local law enforcement running in circles.

  12. anonymus says:

    Another group of liberals who want to pick & choose which laws they follow. They must have learned that from Hillary Clinton & the Democrats

  13. Anonymous says:

    ‘Sovereign Sociopath” is more like it. Why was the bond so low?

  14. W.Ryan says:

    Hmmm…So lets get this straight. This sovereign citizen refutes laws such as Stand your ground? And believes that our governments laws aren’t really laws and that he’s above the laws of this country? Sounds similar to some nut in the white house! The only difference is wealth and the power he has now to write his own laws for his and his cohorts benefit.

  15. out of town says:

    I can’t believe this guy might get to bond out of Jail..That is just crazy..And yes I agree with what Veteran says..This guy is a crazy mess..And he could get to bond out of Jail..This guy needs to say in Jail or a mental Hospital..What is wrong with your Justice system..Don’t you people care what happens to the citizens of the City of Palm Coast Flagler Beach or Bunnell or the whole state of Florida..You need to keep this guy Locked up..WOW..

  16. Constantly Amazed says:

    ‘SOVERIGN CITIZEN” cultish movement, this sounds like the new ‘PAC” Hillary Clinton started.

  17. Instigator says:

    If you are paying attention, the description reminds us of what happens in Washington. They decide which laws to follow and which one’s to ignore all the time. There are no consequences for them.

  18. The Oracle says:

    I wonder how many of these so called “sovereign citizens ” are on any type of government handouts.

  19. Anonymous says:

    We really are all supposed to be sovern….the United States takes it away from us with citizenship….which thus gives the government the authority to govern ( control) us…. Research….. 😞

  20. palmcoaster says:

    Welcome to TRUMP era and the NRA reigns!

  21. Sw says:

    Hows that workin out for ya

  22. Anon says:

    Right, because this movement just started in January.

  23. Kim says:

    And yet these “sovereign citizens” have no issues with driving on tax-payer funded roads, lit by tax-payer funded lights, maintained by tax-payer funded crews. Big hypocrites, not heroes.

  24. Lazaruis says:

    Brass knuckles are considered a banned weapon .
    I wonder if he will have a charge for those also.
    This has nothing to do with gun control . Criminals like him have many ways to get guns illegally .
    This is a very troubling evolution of cults without a central authority or place of operation .
    More like biker gangs I think .
    Very scary .

  25. George says:

    I’m not Liberal or Conservative nor do I have affiliations with any political party, I just want to point out how ridiculously divided we are as a nation. I see both sides blaming each other, trying to draw parallels between what this criminal has done and very broad stances that political parties hold.

    “Look at what that criminal did, must be a liberal, Hillary supporting terrorist! They don’t want to follow the laws of our land.”

    “Look at what that criminal did, must be a conservative, Trump supporting terrorist! They don’t want to follow the laws of our land.”

    Regardless of what political party or political view you align yourself with, respect each other at all times, no matter what.

Leave a Reply

Read FlaglerLive's Comment Policy | Subscribe to the Comment Feed rss flaglerlive comment feed rss

More stories on FlaglerLive
Loading

ADVERTISEMENTS

suppert flaglerlive flagler live palm coast flagler county news pierre tristam florida
fcir florida center for investigative reporting

Subscribe to FlaglerLive

Get immediate notification of new stories.

Advertisement
Log in
| FlaglerLive, P.O. Box 354263, Palm Coast, FL 32135-4263 | 386/586-0257

FlaglerLive.com