Editor's note: Updates at the bottom of this article.
A federal fugitive who reportedly had threatened former President George W. Bush was grabbed by two Darien Police detectives Thursday after the U.S. Secret Service informed them he might be at the southbound Interstate 95 rest stop.
Once Troy Eugene Stafford, 42, had been positively identified, the detectives handed him over to state police from Troop G who took him into custody. Stafford had left a halfway house in Marion, IL without permission, according to a state police news release.
A Darien Police news release on Tuesday gave this account of the incident:
At about 1 p.m. Friday, Darien police received a call from a U.S. Secret Service agent who said Stafford, a fugitive sought by the federal agency, might be at the southbound-side rest stop in town.
Connecticut police agencies had already received an alert about Stafford through an email sent from the Connecticut Intelligence Center. Police were told that Stafford might be armed with a handgun.
Two police detectives went to the rest stop and saw a man matching Stafford's description leaning against a wall near the drive-thru area of the McDonald's restaurant.
Soon afterward, Stafford picked up a knapsack and quickly walked near the rear entrance of the restaurant. The two detectives started pursuing him as he ran toward the front door.
The detectives took him into custody without incident, and he was found to be unarmed.
State police from Troop G arrived at the scene, and the detectives turned him over to them.
According to the state police news release issued on Friday, Stafford was to be turned over to the Secret Service. Darien Patch was unable to reach a Secret Service spokesman for Connecticut before publishing this article.
According to the Courant article: "In one of the letters, Stafford asked the then-president how he would feel if he were to find a bullet waiting for him at the White House, the Madison Recordreported."
Update 12:58 p.m.: An Aug. 22, 2007 report in the The Record, a legal journal in southern Illinois near St. Louis, quotes from this statement that law enforcement officials said Stafford sent to Bush:
"If you were to find a bullet waiting for you once you looked out of the white house how would that feel while you were looking out your window. Do you know what Nitrometheane, Tovax, cannon fuses, a few barrels, a spool of shock tube and Ammonium Nitrate Fertilizer will do. . . Well do you Mr-President. Well Id say not till it's used on you or yours. This is your first and last warning from me and the National Socialist Movement of Freedom. So bombs away you're a coward bastard."
According to The Record, Stafford was indicted Aug. 18, 2007 on an accusation he made the threat sometime between Jan. 1 and March 7, 2006. When he was indicted, Stafford was serving time in a state prison on a charge of theft of more than $300.