[sixties-l] Michigan : Standoff Near Vandalia

From: radtimes (resist@best.com)
Date: Mon Sep 03 2001 - 19:09:14 EDT

  • Next message: Jwillims@aol.com: "[sixties-l] Fugitive Days"

    Michigan : Standoff Near Vandalia

    From: "Mike Dooley" <mjd@kalamazoo.net
    Subject: farm
    Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 13:57:05 -0700

    The Farm has been under heavy police watch for supporting the PRA
    petition here in MI. www.PRAyes.com now this. No CNN or Network news. Dick
    Cowan said he will do a show on Tuesday about it. at www.marijuananews.com
    see you mike.

    By Jim Meenan, Tribune Staff Writer
    Source: South Bend Tribune

    Pubdate: Sat, 1 Sep 2001
    Source: South Bend Tribune (IN)
    Copyright: 2001 South Bend Tribune
    Contact: vop@sbtinfo.com
    Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/621
    Website: http://www.southbendtribune.com/
    Author: Jim Meenan, Tribune Staff Writer



    VANDALIA -- Tom Crosslin had a court date he apparently just didn't want to
    keep Friday.

    The 47-year-old owner of Rainbow Farm Campground was charged last May on
    criminal counts of manufacturing marijuana, maintaining a drug house and
    felony firearms following a two-year investigation into claims of illegal
    drug activities on his 34-acre property.

    And Rainbow Farm had been shut down twice this year by authorities,
    including for Labor Day weekend, through a civil suit claiming alleged drug
    use at the campground's gatherings constituted violation of Michigan's
    Public Nuisance Abatement Act.

    On Friday, Crosslin was facing a $150,000 bond revocation hearing in Cass
    County District Court because police believed he had violated terms of his
    bond and was involved in illegal drug activities.

    But he failed to show up in Cassopolis. And the Cass County Sheriff's
    Department received a fire call about the property at 59896 Pemberton Road
    about 12:15 p.m. EDT, Sheriff Joseph Underwood said.

    The caller told authorities that the property owner didn't want anyone on
    his property.

    Police immediately discovered it was Rainbow Farm Campground, and that it
    was Tom Crosslin.

    Crosslin or someone on the premises, burned a couple buildings at Rainbow
    Farm to the ground Friday afternoon, the sheriff said. And Crosslin or
    someone there fired off 20 rounds of ammunition, hitting a helicopter
    operated by WNDU-TV, Channel 16, South Bend.

    No one was injured. And no other neighboring structures were harmed Friday
    at the campground, located near Kirk Lake in Newberg Township northeast of

    But six nearby residences were evacuated as a precautionary measure, and
    Crosslin and several others remained holed up on Rainbow Farm late Friday

    Crosslin's mother and brother sought to talk him into surrendering to
    authorities Friday evening, but that apparently failed, said Sgt. Doug
    Westrick of the Cass County Sheriff's Department.

    "I assume he's upset about the court hearing," Underwood said.
    "Everything's a concern right now."

    Underwood's assumption was the same many shared as they awaited what they
    hoped would be a peaceful resolution to the armed standoff.

    His sister arrived about 9 p.m. EDT, but was unable to talk to him police
    said, because Crosslin advised them if anyone drove toward the farm after
    dark he would shoot.

    "I can't talk to him. ... (But I do know) he was very angry with the
    government, and the way they have done things," said Shirley DeWeese, of

    "I just hope he remains cool and calm; he just wants to be left alone. He
    doesn't want all the violence. ... We're hoping and praying for the best."

    Crosslin's nephew, John DeWeese, 24, of Elkhart, arrived on the scene
    Friday before dusk to show support for his uncle.

    "They need to leave him alone," he said of Crosslin, adding that his uncle
    was "peaceful."

    One of John's friends, Johnny Muday, of Elkhart, was among those who drove
    out with him.

    "He will come out when he's ready," Muday said of Crosslin. "I just think
    he wants to have a graceful exit. ... He's trying to buy time."

    Crosslin had reportedly told neighbors to leave their residences, noting
    that there would be "problems out there this weekend," Underwood said.

    Police had difficulty establishing contact with Crosslin, who was armed,
    police said.

    While Crosslin was only talking to a select few Friday, his Rainbow Farm
    Campground Web site at www.rainbowfarmcampground.com said its share for
    him: "The Labor Day Weekend Camp-out has been called off. Bad government
    has intervened, once again, and closed Rainbow Farm Campground."

    Rainbow Farm had been shut down in May just before Hemp Aid 2001, a
    Memorial Day weekend event drawing hundreds to the campground and extolling
    the virtues of legalizing marijuana.

    Crosslin was among five people arrested in May by Michigan State Police,
    the Cass County Sheriff's Department and the Southwest Michigan Enforcement
    Team (SWET) in conjunction with the Cass County prosecutor's office after a
    two-year probe into illegal drug activity at Rainbow Farm.

    Others charged last May included Michael Royal, 37, of Defiance, Ohio;
    Aaron Brown, 22, of Allegan, Mich.; Andrew Rasmussen, 20, of Bay City,
    Mich.; James Schmidt, 29, of Lake Zurich, Ill.; and Rolland Rohm, of
    Vandalia. They were all charged on illegal drug-related counts.

    There were reports Friday that people were seen carrying guns on the
    campground property.

    However, police managed to touch base with Crosslin through a third party
    at 5 p.m. EDT, but it was a short-lived contact. Crosslin's mother and
    brother talked with him about a couple hours later without success in
    getting him to surrender.

    Authorities weren't taking any chances, blocking off Pemberton Road, nearby
    Black Street and any roads leading to Rainbow Farm, Westrick said. As far
    as the neighbors go, "we advised against" going to their homes, but it was
    an individual's decision.

    Mac Nelson of Jimtown has been out to Rainbow Farm about two dozen times,
    having camped out there. He came up from Indiana to support Crosslin, his
    family and friends.

    "It's out of character for him," Nelson said of Crosslin.



    Rainbow Farm Campground advertises itself as "an alternative campground and
    concert arena." The 34-acre campground at 59896 Pemberton Road near Kirk
    Lake in Newberg Township northeast of Vandalia operates the campground, The
    Joint Coffee Bar, The Rainbow Farm General Store and Hemp Gift Store &
    Smoke World. Its two biggest weekends before this year were events
    conducted at Memorial and Labor days, with event organizers extolling the
    virtues of legalizing marijuana. However, family members said owner Tom
    Crosslin's literature sought to prohibit illegal drug usage at the site.
    For more info, visit its Web site at www.rainbowfarmcampground.com.

    Staff writer Jim Meenan: jmeenan@sbtinfo.com -- (616) 687-7005

    Staff writer Gwen O'Brien: gobrien@sbtinfo.com -- (219) 235-6333

    Newshawk: Mr.greengenes
    Source: South Bend Tribune (IN)
    Copyright: 2001 South Bend Tribune
    Contact: vop@sbtinfo.com
    Website: http://www.southbendtribune.com/

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon Sep 03 2001 - 20:01:57 EDT