May 3, 1997 in Nation/World

State Police Close In On Texas Rebels Man Who Was Swapped For Hostages Walks Out Of Camp

Associated Press

State police Friday night closed in on the mountain hideout of Republic of Texas leader Richard McLaren and six followers who vowed not to come out peacefully.

Officers who had camped two miles from McLaren’s headquarters trailer crept within a quarter mile “to better assess the terrain in that area and conditions around the … property,” said Department of Public Safety spokesman Mike Cox.

McLaren issued a frantic plea via shortwave radio when his group saw police moving in.

“Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! Hostiles are invading the Republic of Texas embassy,” McLaren said. “We have hostiles in the woods. This is a mayday call for any nation in the world … We are being invaded!”

Cox said the maneuver didn’t mean police were about to storm the headquarters. No shots were fired.

Officers intercepted radio traffic in which Republic members were heard issuing shoot-to-kill directives aimed at troopers and their vehicles, Cox said.

Police also said that homes in the Davis Mountains Resort development near the hideout had been burglarized, and the secessionists had been using neighbors’ telephones.

Asked if negotiations were still going on with McLaren, Cox said “there have been discussions, but there have also been a lot of reversals.”

“We continue to use every means feasible to resolve this situation,” Cox said.

In his shortwave plea, McLaren taunted authorities, saying, “I guess you boys didn’t learn anything from Waco or Ruby Ridge … and you fools are going to come here and kill me, huh, and overrun this mission.

“Well, be prepared to take the fall because the people who have the documents are going to fry your ass. You’re the dead meat. ”

Earlier Friday, a group member who was sprung from jail to join his holed-up comrades in the mountains left them behind and surrendered on the sixth day of the secessionists’ standoff.

“I had to get out of there. I couldn’t stand it anymore,” Robert Scheidt, the group’s “captain of the embassy guard,” was quoted by a state trooper as saying.

Scheidt was arrested as he walked down a road carrying a pouch filled with negotiation papers.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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