(NEW YORK) — A Pennsylvania man stopped by police near the Holland Tunnel in New Jersey with an arsenal of guns in his truck was “on a mission to help other families” in the wake of his daughter’s death, a friend.
John Cramsey, 50, allegedly told police he was going to New York City to rescue a teenage girl he believed was in danger from drugs, sources said.
“I think when he lost his daughter it just kind of broke something inside of him,” his friend Shannon Hardner said. “It sent him on a mission to help other families.”
Cramsey, who calls himself a “rebel” on Facebook and owns a gun range, was stopped during Tuesday morning rush hour at the tunnel’s New Jersey toll plaza with two others, 53-year-old Dean Smith and 29-year-old Kimberly Arendt. Police recovered five handguns, an assault rifle and a shotgun, as well as four knives, 10 clips of ammunition, body armor, marijuana and a military-grade helmet from the bright-colored truck.
The number of weapons in the car raised suspicions and the Joint Terrorism Task Force was called. Law enforcement officials told ABC News there did not appear to be a link to terrorism.
“They weren’t going out to harm anybody,” Michelle Arendt, Kimberly’s mother, told ABC News. “They were going out to save.”
According to officers, the trio said they wanted to rescue a 16-year-old girl they believed was in danger from drugs.
Cramsey wrote online before his arrest: “This young lady from Wilkes Barre is scared and wants to come home. Last night she woke to find her friends body next to her in the same bed were [sic] her friend died of another heroin overdose.”
A police source said the teenager Cramsey claimed he was headed to save told authorities: “I don’t need to be rescued.”
Cramsey’s own daughter died of an accidental heroin overdose four months ago, according to the medical examiner.
All three suspects were taken to the Hudson County, New Jersey, jail on weapons possession charges. They are expected to appear in court Wednesday afternoon.
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