BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) Timothy Payne, an amputee from combat in Afghanistan, is still undergoing psychiatric care but has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon after police found guns, 400 rounds of ammo and what police say appears to be an explosive device in his van.
“He didn’t appear to be a problem of any kind,” said North Tonawanda Mayor Art Pappas, who spoke with Payne for about fifteen minutes right before his arrest, Tuesday. Payne, 36, was inquiring about how he could host a rally for veterans like him who are readjusting to life after combat. “He indicated that one of his missions was to help people in trouble. He thought he could do that because he had done some coaching and leading and had some leadership roles.”
What the Mayor didn’t know was that about an hour before, State Police had informed agencies across the state to be on the lookout for Payne’s van. It’s labeled Chosen Leadership for the program he runs as an inspirational speaker, but in recent days he has been posting angry messages about alleged embezzlement and the North Carolina Assembly.
North Tonawanda Police noticed the van in their parking lot and asked Payne to go in for treatment. With Payne’s permission, police searched his van finding a handgun, some military style rifles and 400 rounds of ammunition.
Payne’s father, Douglas Payne says he does not believe his son would have hurt anyone, but is relieved that his son is now getting help. “For the past almost four years, Tim’s behavior became more and more erratic. Even though he was doing good things, there was still a fringe that was very erratic and didn’t make much sense, irrational just about. And when confronted with it, he wouldn’t hear it.”
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