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2017-09-14

FBI arrests local VA patient for threats

By Bev Barr BCC Editor

A screen shot of several of Crosley's postings on social media and YouTube.



The FBI arrested retired Corporal Walter Steven Crosley Thursday, Sept. 7, at his home in Lakehills. According to Daryl Fields, a public affairs officer for the Department of Justice, Crosley allegedly used the Internet and social media to threaten the lives of individuals working for the US Department of Veteran Affairs and to damage or destroy buildings by use of explosives.
Crosley, a long-time resident of Bandera County, served in the Army for 13 years and achieved the rank of Specialist/E-4. He served as a motor transport operator during Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2005, Crosley was injured by an improvised explosive device detonation and suffered a traumatic brain injury, as well as other injuries. In 2008, Crosley was honorably discharged, and in 2013, he was permanently retired with 100 percent service-related disability, 50 percent for PTSD.
Since then, Crosley says he has struggled with his health and shares the details of those struggles on short videos he makes himself and uploads to social media sites and YouTube. He calls himself “Retired Warrior” and has posted a “Warrior Code” on his Facebook page, articulating the things he will defend and for what he is willing to sacrifice his life.
Crosley’s recordings range in length from approximately 7 to 12 minutes apiece and, for the most part, they share certain commonalities, such as the suicide rate of veterans is unacceptably high, and the VA is not doing enough about it. In his recordings, Crosley often says “22 a day,” referring to a statistic provided by the Veterans Affairs several years ago and expects the listener to know he’s talking about the number of suicides.
Crosley believes there is a link between the numbers of veteran suicides a day and illnesses that make one temporarily psychotic as a result of pathogens, parasites and contaminated water, according to his recordings.
Special agents of the Veteran Affairs Office of Inspector General interviewed Crosley on July 6, 2017, and learned the same thing, as recorded in an affidavit attached to the criminal complaint. During that interview Crosley told them “the only stressor in his life is the cover up by Halliburton regarding the water that it poisoned in Iraq and the many veterans who contracted Q-Fever.” Crosley, according to his recordings, has been diagnosed with Q-Fever, too.
In June, according to the same affidavit, Crosley told a nurse at the VA Medical Center that, “I may be the next guy that takes y’all out.” Crosley explained to the investigators, “that he was merely detailing a scenario to the VA staff in which a veteran might become agitated and come to the VA looking to cause harm.”
According to both the affidavit filed in Federal Court and Crosley’s recordings, he is a danger to himself and others and is and has been desperately reaching out to anyone who will help fix the problem of veteran suicides and his own health — which he sees and describes as one and the same. In one recording, which is quoted in the affidavit, Crosley compares himself with other veterans who committed suicide or killed others, specifically Colton Puckett, Esteban Santiago, Justin Walters, John Russell, John Neumann Jr., and Robert Rojas.
“… I was not gonna be the next soldier that just happened over here in Amarillo. He pulled up into the VA, they weren’t takin care of him. He pulled into the parking lot and (expletive) killed himself. I’m not killing myself. I’m not going down alone. … I’ve got a list. Like Arya Stark, I’m gonna make a list of people I’m gonna take out before I take myself out. How’s that? This is serious, this is so serious. Fix me and my soldiers or I’m gonna fix you. …”
Crosley made his initial appearance in federal court in San Antonio on Sept. 7, and will remain in federal custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for 9:30 am, Sept. 21.
Assistant United State Attorney Bud Paulissen is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States Government.
Kurt May, from the Office of the Federal Public Defender, is the attorney representing Walter Steven Crosley.