Editor’s note: In “Illegals: The Imminent Threat Posed by Our Unsecured U.S.-Mexico Border,” veteran journalist Jon E. Dougherty documents a truth that both major political parties have missed – namely, that sustained high immigration levels from south of the border will continue to pose economic, labor, security and criminal threats to the United States, unless American and Mexican leaders find ways to limit it.
This is the second of four excerpts featured on WorldNetDaily from “Illegals,” a recent release of WND Books. Today’s excerpt tells the harrowing story of one American living near the border who engaged in an armed stare down with a gang of illegal aliens.
Before he moved his family to Whetstone, Ariz., a small community 20 minutes from the Mexican border, John F. Petrello III admits he never believed the stories about an “invasion” of illegal aliens. Like most Americans – especially those who don’t live near the vast southwest border, which spans Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and southern California – John thought yarns about “the occupying hordes” were just concoctions of radical anti-immigration extremists, people who were so absorbed with nationalistic hatred and bigotry they were incapable of embracing other ethnic groups, even if they immigrated legally to America.
But within months of relocating John was not only transformed into a believer, he became a full-blown convert. And, like most of his neighbors, his concern about continued mass illegal immigration and the threats it poses to the nation, if not just his own corner of the world, came about in a personal and harrowing way.
One morning as John’s wife, Heather – pregnant with their second child, a son – was outside watching the couple’s young daughter play on their four-acre property, she witnessed the driver of a pickup truck speed up to an adjacent property and quickly drop off 12 men, then disappear just as quickly as it had appeared. John and Heather had been living in the area long enough to know the men who had been dropped off were likely illegal aliens; in the past illegals had been dropped off without incident, but it still unnerved Heather to see them dropped off so closely this time. She began calling for John, who was working in the yard out of her view and out of the view of the band of illegals.
Upon hearing the urgency in her voice, John went for his .45-caliber sidearm just inside the house (he said he usually carries it all the time for protection, but leaves it inside if he’s outside working and believes there may be a chance of knocking it around and having it accidentally discharge). After retrieving it, he immediately went back outside to find Heather, who had already grabbed up their daughter, yelling at him that a coyote – as immigrant smugglers are called – had just dropped off a group of men.
“The coyote could have picked them up from any number of several locations nearby,” John said.
But rather than move off in the opposite direction, the 12 men began moving toward the Petrello’s small property, which, John realized, had been what caused his wife so much anxiety.
John instructed Heather to take their daughter to a neighbor’s house, lock the doors and call “someone to come here and help me out.” By that time he could see the aliens moving in nearby mesquite trees “about a hundred yards away.” He said he yelled at them, “Alto! Alto! [Stop! Stop!]” and indicated they shouldn’t come closer. He said he knew they had seen and heard him because a few members of the group had made eye contact. But they didn’t stop coming toward him, and within a few moments the group breached the perimeter of his property.
As they approached, John says they could see he was armed. “I had one hand up waving them off and the other on my weapon,” which was in plain view on his hip, he said. Still, they continued to advance toward him until finally, he says, he began to fear for his own safety.
Finally, in desperation he says, “I drew my weapon and laid down several rounds directly in front of the lead man’s feet. It was close enough that dirt was hitting him.” But the men kept advancing and it was at that point, he admits, that “I thought I may have gotten in over my head.”
For one thing, John realized he had only one magazine in his pistol, and that he had just used over half the bullets in an attempt to scare the aliens away. For another, he says, he wasn’t accustomed to seeing or hearing groups of illegals that were so brazen; in the past, when confronted by armed Americans, most either ran away or quickly surrendered (though since John Petrello’s incident, locals say illegals aren’t as intimidated or afraid as they used to be).
“I don’t care who you are or what you’ve been through, you know that if you’re shooting at someone and they keep advancing on you, those are some serious people,” said John, who had become accustomed by then to seeing and detaining illegal immigrants on his property. When they didn’t respond to warning shots, he said he began to believe at least a couple of the illegals may have been armed, a phenomenon that has also been on the rise in recent years.
In a final bid to scare the intruders away, John fired a few more precious rounds at the feet of the advancing aliens to show them he was as serious as they. With that, he said, the pack of men finally stopped in their tracks; they didn’t run away, but instead began to stare John down. The man in the lead locked eyes with John in a “hateful stare,” causing him to level his pistol with few remaining rounds “right at his head.” The lead illegal alien was less than ten yards away.
“He was pretty damned close,” John said, “but when he saw that big .45 barrel looking at him, he finally figured out I wasn’t kidding.”
Scared but thankful the advance stopped, John continued to keep his pistol aimed at the man. For several tense seconds, both he and the illegal kept eyes locked, staring hard at each other, watching and waiting to see if the other would make a move, show signs of fear, or signal he would give up. In the end, it was the lead alien who blinked first; John says he and the other men in the small group began quietly talking among themselves in Spanish – too low for him to make out words – before the lead man turned and began running in the other direction, the rest of his party in tow.
Tomorrow’s excerpt delves into the taxpayer costs of services provided to illegal aliens.