When an angry William Atwood Sr., 45, reported that a man who had sent his young daughter a pornographic picture had arrived at his home unannounced, they came to investigate. They found a young man cowering in fear. According to the deputy that arrived at the scene, Justin Moore did not respond to questions and kept his eyes closed for several minutes. Back at the station they heard a story that was significantly more frightening than the picture of Moore’s genitalia that was apparently circulated among his group of friends as a joke.
Police say that Justin Moore had in fact been invited to the home of 45-year-old William Atwood Sr. and that the young man went to explain his actions. Moore even sent a friend a somewhat ironic text message in which he joked:
If I don’t get back, let everyone know.
If he had known what was in store for him, he never would have gone. When Moore arrived, he found the 6’2″ Atwood, who weighs in at a hefty 350 lbs, standing with a shotgun. Moore told investigators that the big man had twice discharged the shotgun into the air and ordered him to strip to his boxers. He was just getting started.
Atwood is then said to have bound the young man’s wrists and ankles with zip ties, and pulled him off the ground by his feet, injuring his shoulder. He allegedly told Moore that he was going to arrange to have him buried on the Pechanga reservation through connections that he had with the tribe.
The exact order in which the rest of the events unfolded is not clear, but along the way Moore’s shoulder was shocked with a taser for about 20-seconds – during which time he asked him how he liked it, before noting that, “(he) shocked his dogs daily and they took it better than him”. A handgun was also said to have been produced in the course of events.
The evidence would seem to support Moore’s version of events. Police could not find enough evidence to charge him with sending the picture, but they found the text in which he joked about what to do if he didn’t come back. More importantly, in a search of Atwood’s home they found two stun guns, zip ties and “more than a dozen firearms”.
Atwood was hit with a slew of charges, including making criminal threats, false imprisonment, assault with a stun gun, assault with a deadly weapon – with some other firearms charges thrown in for good measure. [PE]