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Va. man faces weapons charges after traffic stop

August 21, 2006|by DAVE McMILLION

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - A Berryville, Va., man was charged Saturday with three offenses after police allegedly found a loaded gun, a machete and other items in a car he was driving, police said.

Kenneth Lee Crouse Jr., 41, 413 Persimon Lane, was charged with two counts of concealed dangerous weapons and left of center, Harpers Ferry Police Chief Donald Buracker said Sunday.

Crouse was arraigned before Magistrate Gail Boober and released on $5,000 bond, Buracker said.

Crouse did not say why he had the gun, the machete and other items in the car, Buracker said. Crouse was "very polite" while officers were talking to him, Buracker said.

The gun - a Ruger .38 special revolver - was in a holster and was tucked along the passenger seat, Buracker said.

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Anyone who carries a concealed gun must have a permit to do so, but Crouse did not have a permit, Buracker said.

At about 6:18 p.m., Buracker said he and two other police officers were at the intersection of Washington Street and Taylor Street when a gray Dodge truck drove past, Buracker said.

The truck crossed the center line twice on Washington Street, Buracker said.

The truck continued on Washington Street and went to Elm Street in Bolivar, W.Va., and turned right, Buracker said.

Buracker activated his emergency lights, approached the vehicle and began talking to the driver.

A National Park Service ranger was standing on the passenger side of the car and saw a large knife with about a 6-inch blade strapped to the passenger seat, Buracker said.

Harpers Ferry Police Cpl. Brian Dolan searched the car and found the loaded revolver, "speed loaders," which allow a gun handler to load old revolvers faster, a gun cleaning kit and several other knives, including the machete, Buracker said.

Police said Crouse was with a group of Ku Klux Klan members who attended the 100th anniversary of the Niagara Movement in Harpers Ferry earlier Saturday.

About 16 members of the KKK attended a panel discussion during the Niagara Movement centennial celebration, said Donald Campbell, superintendent of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

Buracker said Crouse told him he was a member of a white supremacy group, but not the KKK.

The Niagara Movement involved a meeting of black leaders and others in 1906 in Harpers Ferry who were working for freedom and equality for blacks.

The KKK members listened to Saturday's discussion for about an hour before leaving, Campbell said.

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