Vigilante Dad in Monster Truck Tries To Save Woman From Heroin

By Zachary Siegel 06/24/16

Four months after losing his daughter to a heroin overdose, a Pennsylvania dad went on a rescue mission to save a young girl from heroin.

Vigilante Dad in Monster Truck Tries To Save Woman From Heroin

Anyone familiar with recovery has heard of friends embarking on rescue missions to save someone from a bender. But driving a monster truck filled with guns takes the cake. 

Well, John Cramsey, 50, of Zionsville, Pennsylvania did exactly that. Four months after his 20-year-old daughter overdosed and died from using heroin, he took it upon himself to round up a crew and pack his arsenal into a literal monster truck and drive it to Brooklyn. According to the NY Daily News, one of Cramsey's accomplices, 29-year-old Kimberly Arendt, had gotten a call from Jenea Patterson, 17, a Pennsylvania teen stranded in Brooklyn after waking up next to the lifeless body of Sierra Schmidt, a young woman who died of heroin overdose.

On Facebook he wrote, “I’m currently 11 miles outside of Brooklyn New York and going to a hotel to extract a 16 year old girl who went up there to Party with a few friends. One of those friends she went up there with will not be returning. This young lady from Wilkes Barre is scared and wants to come home.”

“I’m bringing her out of NY today and anybody else in that hotel that wants to go home too,” he added. “NO ....SLEEP ....TILL BROOKLYN !”

It became his mission to bring her home. But, before he could fulfill his self-assigned duty, he was arrested along with his two fellow vigilantes, 53-year-old Dean Smith and Arendt. The group was pulled over outside the Holland Tunnel Tuesday morning, just outside of New York City, for a cracked windshield. That's when police discovered a cache of weapons in plain view in the modified Dodge Ram pickup truck, according to Fox News

Police said they seized a shotgun, an AR-15 assault rifle and handguns, along with some 2,000 rounds of ammunition, knives, goggles, and other tactical gear, which likely came from Cramsey's personal stash as the owner of a gun range in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Apparently, Mr. Cramsey thought he was taking down El Chapo. 

They told police they were on a rescue mission. One of the ammo boxes recovered from the truck read, “Shoot your local heroin dealer.” According to NBC News, it was unclear what the weapons had to do with the "vigilantes'" plans. According to Fox News, drugs were also recovered from the vehicle.

According to the NY Post, the group faces several charges including weapons possession, possession of high-capacity magazines, transport of an assault firearm and pot possession.

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Zachary Siegel is a freelance journalist specializing in science, health and drug policy. His reporting has also appeared in Slate, The Daily Beast, Salon, Huffington Post, among others. He writes often about addiction, sometimes drawing from his own experience. You can find out more about Zachary on Linkedin or follow him on Twitter.