Former Green Beret Commander Bo Gritz is trying to conduct a citizen’s arrest of Terri Schiavo’s husband and the judge who ordered the brain-damaged Florida woman’s feeding tube removed so she can be legally starved.
The 66-year-old retired Army Lt. Colonel with his wife, Judy, arrived in Florida from their home in Nevada yesterday with the intent of arresting anyone involved in removing the life-sustaining tube.
Gritz came bearing a notarized “citizen’s arrest warrant” addressed to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Attorney General Charlie Crist.
His intent is to “paper” state and federal law enforcement offices with his warrant today – one day before Pinellas Circuit Court Judge George Greer’s deadline to begin denial of food and water to Terri Schiavo.
Gritz says the “arrest” is designed to allow officials additional options as the Florida governor and legislature maneuver to save the woman from starvation.
Gritz says he successfully used the arrest-tool against federal law enforcement in August 1992 when he intervened in the so-called Ruby Ridge incident in Idaho and brought what was left of Randy Weaver’s family down the hill without further bloodshed. Sammy, the 14-year-old Weaver boy, was killed along with his mother, Vicki, and U.S. Marshal William Degan. Randy Weaver and another man, Kevin Harris, were wounded by police gunfire.
Gritz secured the services of renowned defense lawyer Gerry Spence, and the U.S. Department of Justice paid the Weavers $3.2 million in an out-of-court settlement. Harris was awarded more than $300,000.
Citing his officer’s oath of allegiance to “defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic,” Gritz says while he doesn’t know Terri Schiavo personally, she nevertheless represents an American in danger of citizen-rights abuse, and he feels an obligation to act while she remains alive.
Besides a “Terri Bill” under consideration in the U.S. Congress, the Florida Legislature votes tomorrow on a modified measure to keep Schiavo’s life support in place. A previous Florida bill allowing Gov. Bush to intervene was ruled unconstitutional.
While threatened with arrest in the Ruby Ridge incident, the decorated war hero instead walked away with FBI letters of appreciation.
Court documents and other information are posted on the Schindler family website.
Links to all “Terri briefs” regarding the governor’s defense of Terri’s Law are on the Florida Supreme Court website, public information.