He Didn't Shoot the Sheriff

Sheriff Lupe Valdez says she's no friend of the man arrested for threatening to kill her. Well, yeah.

We have a few more bizarre details about Norman Russell, the Dallas man arrested last week for threatening to kill Sheriff Lupe Valdez. Turns out the 53-year-old, who Garland police say later threatened to kill all gays and lesbians, signed up to volunteer for the Valdez's 2004 campaign. He also had a picture taken with Valdez, and when sheriff's deputies took him into custody for making "terroristic threats," he claimed he knew the sheriff and that she was a "nice woman." .

Of course, Russell then reiterated his threat that he did hate all gays and lesbians and "felt like they should be killed." He was then hurried off to jail.

Because Russell did volunteer for Valdez's campaign, a number of Valdez's underlings have speculated that the two are friends. She declined to press charges after all. Valdez's spokesperson, however, insists that's not the case. That and more are after the jump.

"He is not a friend," says Sgt. Raul Reyna. "He did sign up to be a volunteer, but [Valdez] checked with her campaign people, and they didn't know who he was. She didn't know who he was until this came out."

That's probably a good thing. In July 2, 2005, Garland police arrested Russell at a July 4th celebration for videotaping children from below as they were boarding carnival rides. According to a spokesperson with the Garland Police Department, Russell was initially asked to leave, but when he was discovered 15 minutes later at a separate location, he was arrested. A grand jury later no-billed the case, leading Russell to make several angry calls to the Garland Police Department. In a message left on October 26, Russell claimed the police department arrested him for being a child molester, which was not the actual charge. He then said that in order to prove he wasn't a molester, he would kill all "molesters, lesbians and gays." And since the sheriff was a lesbian, Reyna said reading from a report, "she should be killed." --Matt Pulle

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky