A Vermont gun activist who earned a Fox News write-up for his defense of assault rifles was arrested for a hate crime after pointing a gun at a black woman and shouting racial slurs at her, The Burlington Free Press reports.
Sheldon Rheaume, 23, pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, reckless endangerment and hate-motivated disorderly conduct and is being held a jail without bail.
Police said the man called a woman behind the counter at a convenience store racial slurs and called her lazy.
Officers said he then exited the store and continued to use racial slurs against the woman to her co-worker outside.
When the woman came out of the store, Rheaume said, “I’ll handle you” and pulled out a gun.
The woman told police that he waved the gun in her face and then pointed it at her.
The woman’s co-worker told police that Rheaume told her, “Come send anyone you want after me and I’ll shoot them.”
Police arrested Rheaume while he wore a ballistic vest and had a handgun.
Rheaume faces up to eight years in prison on the three charges.
In 2017, Rheaume was among several Vermont gun activists quoting in a Fox News piece for fighting against laws to restrict assault rifles.
Rheaume told the network he bought an AR-15 to “prove a point.”
“This isn’t an evil rifle,” he said. “It’s a tool.”