[sixties-l] Rainbow Farm: Neighbors, Friends Shocked

From: radtimes (resist@best.com)
Date: Thu Sep 06 2001 - 19:02:59 EDT

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    Newshawk: Stop The Killing
    Pubdate: Tue, 04 Sep 2001
    Source: Associated Press (Wire)
    Copyright: 2001 Associated Press
    Author: Dee-Ann Durbin


    VANDALIA, Mich. (AP) -- Neighbors of the two men killed in a standoff with
    police at a campground where marijiuana use was condoned recalled the pair
    Tuesday as peaceful and generous and were stunned by their violent deaths.

    Grover "Tom" Crosslin, 47, owner of Rainbow Farm, was fatally shot by an
    FBI agent Monday night after a standoff that began Friday. Rolland Rohm,
    28, who lived with Crosslin, was shot by police Tuesday morning on the
    campground property.

    Police said both were shot after pointing weapons at law enforcement officers.

    During the standoff, police said it appeared a house and four main
    buildings on the campground property were burned. Authorities also said
    Crosslin shot a news helicopter as it flew overhead Friday. Shots also were
    fired at an unmarked state police plane Saturday but missed, police said.
    Both aircraft landed safely without injuries.

    Authorities arrested Crosslin and five others in May after a two-year
    investigation into allegations of marijuana use at the 34-acre campground.
    Crosslin was charged with felony possession of a firearm, growing marijuana
    and maintaining a drug house.

    A third man at the campground, Brandon J. Peoples, was walking with
    Crosslin and suffered minor injuries when Crosslin was shot. Authorities
    questioned Peoples but did not take him into custody.

    Buzz Daily, 44, a Cass County farmer, said Crosslin and Rohm were known for
    their generosity. At Christmas, he said, they would drive their pickup
    truck into Vandalia and distribute gifts throughout the town of about 350
    residents. They also would buy food and clothes for people staying at the
    campground, he said.

    "I am heartbroken," Daily said. "I don't think they went into this trying
    to hurt anyone."

    Daily and others said they weren't sure what would happen to Rainbow Farm.
    But he urged those who support marijuana legalization to come to the
    funerals for Crosslin and Rohm. Funeral arrangements had not been
    determined on Tuesday afternoon, Rohm's family said.

    Daily also lashed out at police, saying he could not imagine Crosslin or
    Rohm brandishing a weapon.

    "I'm surprised that with all the money (police) put into this, they didn't
    have any non-lethal means of resolving this," said Daily, who said he'd
    known the pair for about five years and attended several HempAid festivals
    at the campground.

    Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Risko defended police actions and said Rohm
    was repeatedly ordered to put down his gun.

    "In each occasion both subjects pointed firearms at officers, and I don't
    know what else you would have officers do," Risko said.

    The FBI has said little about the standoff. Crosslin was shot by a federal
    agent, Rohm by state police.

    Special Agent Dawn Clenney said officials were investigating and still did
    not know what sparked the standoff.

    FBI and state police investigators planned to spend Tuesday night outside
    the campground. "It's a big crime scene out there," Clenney said. "We've
    got a lot to do."

    Rohm's stepfather, John Livermore, said he and Rohm's mother drove all
    night from Tennessee to try to help police negotiate, but were never
    allowed to speak to Rohm.

    Livermore said he believes Rohm left the house because he thought police
    were going to allow him to see his 12-year-old son, Robert.

    "He was slow, he was easy-led. He had a learning disability and he trusted
    them," Livermore said.

    Livermore said Crosslin and Rohm had been living together for about 11 years.

    The standoff began Friday when deputies went to the farm after neighbors
    said Crosslin was burning buildings on his property. Police said they
    believe Crosslin was upset about a Friday hearing to revoke his bond.

    Police allege he violated an order prohibiting him from holding a festival,
    prompting the bond hearing.

    Rohm's son was put into foster care in Cass County one or two months after
    the May arrests, said Rohm's and Crosslin's attorney, Dori Leo. Rohm also
    faced criminal charges, although it wasn't clear Tuesday afternoon whether
    he was among those arrested in May.

    Leo said Crosslin was upset that Rohm's son had been removed.

    Local, state and federal officials were still at the campground Tuesday
    afternoon. A bomb squad also was on the scene, but Risko said no bombs had
    been found. Police had suspected the property was booby- trapped.

    "The house is still smoldering so it will be a few days before we get the
    investigation part of it done," Risko said.

    Vandalia is about 30 miles northeast of South Bend, Ind., in southwest
    Michigan. A historical marker in the town park describes Vandalia as a
    one-time junction on the Underground Railroad. Slaves escaping through
    Illinois and Indiana were taken in by local Quakers, who guided the slaves
    east into Canada.

    According to the Rainbow Farm's Web site, Crosslin bought the property
    about 15 years ago with the idea of supporting, "the medical, spiritual and
    responsible recreational uses of marijuana for a more sane and
    compassionate America."

    The farm includes shower and bathroom facilities, a coffee bar called The
    Joint and a hemp-themed gift shop. Each year it hosts two festivals called
    HempAid and RoachRoast, according to the Web site.

    A court order issued in June prohibited Crosslin from having festival
    gatherings at the farm. Police allege he violated the order by holding a
    festival August 17-18, which prompted the bond hearing.

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