April 14, 2005 in Nation/World

Reservist arrested for detaining Mexicans

Associated Press

PHOENIX – An Army reservist arrested on charges that he detained seven Mexicans at gunpoint in southwestern Arizona said Wednesday he is a victim, not a vigilante.

Sgt. Patrick Haab, 24, was being held on seven counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He said he drew a revolver to stop some of the men – later determined to be illegal immigrants – from rushing him Sunday night at a highway rest stop.

“I believe I’m a victim,” said Haab, who spent 11 months in Iraq but declined to discuss his duties there. He said he takes medication for combat stress.

“This could have been a very serious confrontation,” Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. Haab broke the law by taking it into his own hands and his claim of being a victim “doesn’t pan out,” he said.

The incident occurred at Sentinel, about 260 miles from the southeastern Arizona border where civilian efforts to watch for illegal immigrants has stirred worries of vigilante violence.

© Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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