Slaying Suspect's Web Manifesto
Jim Herron Zamora, Erin Hallissy, The San Francisco Chronicle
An ex-soldier turned drifter who bragged on the Internet of killing a Red Bluff cop to protest "police-state tactics" was arrested Tuesday in a New Hampshire hotel, authorities said.
Andrew Hampton McCrae, 23, who spent three years in the Army, surrendered peacefully at a Holiday Inn in Concord, N.H., after the FBI tracked him down from a confession posted in his name Monday evening on an alternative news media Web site in San Francisco.
"Hello everyone, my name's Andy. I killed a police officer in Red Bluff, California in a motion to bring attention to, and halt, the police-state tactics that have come to be used throughout the country," said the online posting at sf.indymedia.org.
McCrae, who also goes by the name Andrew Hampton Mickel, was arraigned on charges of felony flight from prosecution for the Nov. 19 slaying of Red Bluff Police Officer David Mobilio.
"From what I understand, this killing was a planned ambush -- an execution of a police officer to effectuate his political agenda," said Concord City Prosecutor Scott Murray.
New Hampshire authorities are holding McCrae without bail pending his extradition to California.
Authorities in California and New Hampshire believe that McCrae posted the rambling statements against law enforcement and fired the gun that killed Mobilio, the first officer ever to die in the line of duty in Red Bluff. About 5,000 people attended Mobilio's funeral Tuesday.
FBI agents in California and New England would not say exactly how they tracked down McCrae after seeing the postings in his name.
In the posting, McCrae blamed all the major problems in America and the world on corporate irresponsibility and said he had set up his own corporation under the name "Proud and Insolent Youth Incorporated" so that he could "use the destructive immunity of corporations and turn it on something that actually should be destroyed."
McCrae's incorporation papers, filed in Concord on Nov. 7, list addresses in Loudon, N.H., and Olympia, Wash. The Loudon address was for the local agent of a company that filed the papers.
McCrae said the name of his corporation is a reference to Capt. Hook calling Peter Pan "proud and insolent youth" just before their final duel.
"Now Peter Pan hates pirates, and I hate pirates, and corporations are nothing but a bunch of pirates," McCrae wrote. "It's time to send them to a watery grave, and rip them completely out of our lives."
McCrae's posting drew sharp criticism but some support in comments posted on the site, which includes a section on police brutality. The site has featured stories on a successful federal lawsuit by two Earth First activists against Oakland police and FBI agents and stories about the corruption trial of Oakland officers known as "the Riders."
Little is known about McCrae's background. He lived in Ohio as a teenager and spent three years in the Army, mostly stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky., until he was discharged Aug. 11, 2001, his family said. The Army declined to comment on his service.
"We love our son but absolutely denounce his recent actions," said his father, Stan Mickel, from his home in Ohio. "Our hearts are breaking for the family and friends of Officer Mobilio. This is very hard for us, and we don't feel we can say anything else right now. It's terrible."
McCrae, who identifies himself in the posting as an Army veteran and graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School, Airborne School and Jungle Operations Training School, also complains heartily about the military.
"The American government is violent all over the world to protect its ill-gotten money and goods," he wrote. "But the American People don't have the right to profit off foreign deaths and silently enjoy our position, then scream bloody murder when those foreigners react to our violence with violence."
Since his discharge, McCrae has spent time in Olympia, Wash., and in New Hampshire, according to authorities. His father did not know of any connection McCrae had to Red Bluff or Northern California.
Police are trying to locate a maroon 1992 Ford Mustang hatchback, registered to McCrae, with Washington license plate 595 NAB. Police believe he may have used it as a getaway car and driven to New Hampshire.
Authorities, who had been negotiating with McCrae for three hours, lured him from his hotel room about 10 a.m. Tuesday after allowing him to speak by telephone with a reporter for the Concord Monitor, who was standing nearby with police negotiators.
McCrae immediately told reporter Sarah Vos that he killed Mobilio to draw attention to "police brutality," Vos said. On the advice of FBI and police, she drew him out by encouraging him to give her a copy of his manifesto, "Declaration of Renewed Independence."
"He asks, 'How do I give it to you?' I say, 'You have to come out,' " Vos recounted.
Mobilio, 31, was shot once in the head between 1:30 and 2 a.m. Nov. 19 as he stopped for gas at an unstaffed filling station on North Main Street used by Red Bluff police and Tehama County sheriff's deputies.
The killing stunned the 23-member police force in the city of 13,500 about 185 miles northeast of San Francisco. A native of Saratoga, Mobilio leaves behind his wife of six years, Linda, an elementary school teacher, and their 19-month-old son, Lucas.
Among the approximately 5,000 people who attended a three-hour memorial service at the Tehama County fairgrounds were Gov. Gray Davis and about 2,500 uniformed law enforcement officers from more than 100 agencies ranging from San Diego to Oregon and Nevada.
During the emotional service, Mobilio's father, Richard, drew a standing ovation after recalling his son's journey from learning disabilities that made school difficult to finding his mission in police work.
"This town really turned out for a fallen hero," said Officer Todd Lopez of Chico. "For those of us in law enforcement, he's our brother."