North Carolina Minister Arrested for Brandishing A Weapon

The arrest of William Rian Adams, 35, in Florida for assault after pointing a handgun at another driver is tragically not unique.  However, what is a bit more unusual is that fact that Adams is the rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher, just south of Asheville.

Adams was driving near Palm City in Florida in his red Chevrolet Corvette when a pick-up truck tried to overtake him after following him closely on the road.  Father Adams then “pointed a semi-automatic handgun” at the two people in the other vehicle.  It turned out to be a Glock-22 handgun.  They reported the incident and Adams was charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.

 Adams said that the pick up truck pulled along side of his car and that the occupants started yelling at him.  He said that the occupants also threw a drink at his car. Finally, he insisted that the gun was not loaded.
It appears that the Gospel of Matthew is not easily applicable to modern times:

5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

52 thoughts on “North Carolina Minister Arrested for Brandishing A Weapon”

  1. 1) Clergy in a corvette? Doesn’t pass the smell test!

    2) Maybe it’s just his version of “fire and brimstone”, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”, and all that sort of thing.

  2. How do you turn the other cheek in a car? After the other cheek, it would seem to be case by case for a response. Also, Corvette could be a rental, loaner, or a gesture from a friend.

    The news account says nothing about his domestic situation. Giving up one’s life is not an absolute in Christian ethics. One should rightly consider the lives of others (various dependents) in a decision to offer up one’s own life.

    Finally, if your insurance is good, being rear ended is always the other guy’s fault
    And causes him more damage.

  3. I have never encountered more aggressive drivers then in Florida. They will pull right up on your assets, as for signal indicators they think they are for Christmas decorations. I make it a rule to always drive in the right lane especially on I-75 when there, let them pass.

    1. I have never encountered more aggressive drivers then in Florida.

      I would argue the same here in California. However, as I’ve driven around this country (even in CA.), the further I get away from major metropolitan areas the more respectful drivers seem to be towards other drivers.

      1. Olly, I agree. Most all metro drivers are, to varying degrees, aggressive. The exceptions I have experienced are here in “Minnesota nice” Twin Cities and Seattle. I’ve driven in most every metro area and the NY/NJ metro area is the worst I’ve encountered. Boston is a close second.

  4. It appears that the Gospel of Matthew is not easily applicable to modern times:

    Sure it is. Unless of course you ignorantly believe the clergy are somehow gifted with superpowers. If you don’t like Mathew then try Romans to understand:

    for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23

  5. t appears that the Gospel of Matthew is not easily applicable to modern times:\

    Where did you get the idea that clergymen are enjoined from defending themselves against louts?

    1. Believers are forbidden in NT Scripture from inflicting violence even for self defense. They have nothing to “defend” because to die is to be with the Lord.

      If you’re not a believer, the words in Scripture are someone else’s mail, which is why they do not and can not make sense to you.

  6. Two shots in the air (aimed upward) not in their direction would be appropriate.

  7. Here is an article from a Palm Beach, FL newspaper. He was arrested in FL not NC.


    A road rage incident along a stretch of northbound Florida’s Turnpike led to a North Carolina priest’s arrest this week after he allegedly pointed a handgun at another vehicle, according to authorities.

    William Rian Adams, 35, of Fletcher, N.C., faces two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after authorities alleged he pointed the weapon at two people late Wednesday at mile marker 125 near Palm City in Martin County.

    According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, Adams was driving a red Chevrolet Corvette when he attempted to brake check a Chevrolet Silverado pickup that was closely following his vehicle.

    The driver of the pickup attempted to go around Adams’ vehicle, prompting Adams to point the weapon, authorities alleged.

    Online records show that Adams is the rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher, N.C., just south of Asheville. Troopers pulled over Adams’ vehicle in St. Lucie County shortly after his accusers called police.

    He reportedly told investigators the truck pulled alongside his vehicle when someone inside rolled down a window, started screaming and threw a drink at his vehicle. Adams confirmed that he had a weapon, but said the gun was not loaded and had been kept under his passenger seat the entire time, according to the FHP report.

    A 24-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman from St. Cloud told troopers Adams pointed a gun in their direction, causing them to fear for their safety.

    The gun, a Glock 22, was taken to the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office and submitted as evidence, the report said.

    1. Jack Ruby – and what is an Episcopalian priest doing with a Corvette? 🙂

          1. Episcopal priests are generally the most handsomely compensated clergymen. They still have trouble recruiting. F/t vicar is a job few people want.

  8. Clear this up JT. I don’t think he can be charged in NC if this happened in FL.

  9. I do not think that he was arrested in NC if this happened in FL. I looked up Palm City. It is over on the East Coast of FL. A lot of New Yorkies moved there. They might be less tolerant of a gun defender in this situation than a jury on the West Coast of FL. The truck driver assaulted him as did the truck driver’s passengers. The drink thrown at him might have been battery acid.
    Rear ending or threatening to do so is a crime.

  10. I agee with Paul above. There would only be a possible crime here if he had shot at them and it was not necessary. It was necessary for him to pull the gun. If I represented him in a jury trial the case would be over by the time the jury was chosen.
    One other article on the web referred to him as “an Episcopal Priest”. They are not “priests”.
    A jury in Palm Beach, FL would be fair to him, Many residents there hail from the mid-west.
    In some states the truck driver would be charged and not the guy defending himself from threat to bodily harm by a deadly weapon. Yeah, a pickup truck is a deadly weapon. The driver of the pickup truck needs to have his license to drive suspended. He needs to be shot. Publish were he lives so that the neighbors can avoid him. Or be ready for him when he drives up.

      1. Brandishing. Hmm. Holding it in a hand and not put in a holster? Aiming it in the direction of a human? Maybe.
        What defense do you have if someone is rear ending your vehicle or almost doing so? Do you pull over and get hit from behind? Speed up? Cut a huge car fart?

        All vehicles need car fart devices. You pull the lever and a huge stinky sulfur cloud emits from your rear. Not your rear, the rear of your vehicle. Then you pull another lever and a sign pops up and it says: “Drop off, Jerk Off!” Or, “Drop Back Jack.”

      2. In New York it’s a class b misdemeanor called ‘menacing’. I doubt law enforcement would bother trying to collar someone across state lines for it.

        Angela Corey is out of office now. Glenn Reynolds offered the opinion (looking at some cases her office had tried) that the consistent feature of the cases in question suggests that the woman was just hostile to people who defend themselves with firearms (in addition to having dreadful professional ethics). If he’s right, I do wonder if that’s common among Florida prosecutors.

  11. So if some thugs come to my front door, I am not allowed to carry a weapon with me to answer the door?

  12. Something that has been working well for me with tailgaters is to first use my 4 way flashers, 90% of the time that solves it. If not , I simply slow down and if necessary stop while waving them to pass me,
    They do not get what they want, which would be to make me speed up over the posted limit.
    What they do get, is what they don’t want, which does not encourage their bullying behavior.
    Reporting this type of incident to the police has been futile as they just sluff it off.

      1. He is the flow of traffic. It’s the tailgaters who are the problem.

        1. You have no right to impede the flow of traffic regardless of your speed. In fact, left-hand blockers cause many accidents. Get over.

          1. I am not compelled to yield because some jack-wagon wants to drive 70. He can deal with the posted rules of the road. There is no indication from this story that the vicar was in a passing lane.

            1. That’s dangerous and arrogant. You’re not the cop and your vigilantism is holding up first responders like fire, ambulance and police by clogging traffic. It’ s not Mayberry anymore. You are more likely to be involved in accident by traveling 5 mph below the speed limit that 5 miles over it.

          2. You have no right to impede the flow of traffic regardless of your speed.

            Let me translate that: You have not right to impede violators of the law> If I’m on a 2-lane highway with a posted speed limit of 55 mph, and I’m doing 55 mph, I have no legal obligation to pull off the road or accelerate to accommodate the flow of traffic.

            1. That’s because the legislature favors avoiding accidents and protecting first responders (they pushed for this law in Virginia) hindered by these road hogs than enforcing to the letter an arbitrary speed limit (whose violation is a mere infraction) usually based on usage data sometimes as much as 30 years old.

              1. Impeding the flow of first responder traffic is a completely different thing. All traffic is supposed to yield, not simply those observing the posted speed limit.

                1. Olly:

                  Many don’t move over forcing an unsafe right-lane pass, but the gripe here was not that the cars directly ahead of the first responder weren’t yielding but that slower cars further up in line so clogged both lanes that no car could safely get out of the way for the ambulance. In essence it was a rolling road block.

                  1. In essence it was a rolling road block.

                    You began by saying that a driver has no right to drive the speed limit. That of course is an absurd assertion. That surprised me coming from you. I certainly understand all the points you make but to lay fault on a law-abiding citizen is exactly the wrong message to be sending.

            2. Olly – I did get pulled over by the Highway Patrol one time for driving the speed limit. He very kindly said that every one else was driving so much faster he was afraid they were going to run me over. 🙂

              1. Paul,
                As was your right. I’m guessing here but by pulling you over he enabled those speeders behind you to move along. Imagine the liability for the state to require you to exceed the posted speed limit. By the way, I’m one of those drivers that would be annoyed sitting behind someone merely doing the posted limit.

                1. Olly – I was eating a hot dog (dinner) when he pulled me over. I did not feel safe eating and driving over the speed limit. 🙂

                  1. My example was a 2 lane highway; there was no left lane other than oncoming traffic. A 4 lane highway has signs for slower traffic to keep right. In that situation, absolutely, the vehicle dawdling in the left lane is impeding the safe flow of traffic by not moving to the right hand lane and should be cited.

                  2. mespo – I find any law that contradicts any other law where I am doing something legally, is unConstitutional.

                    I have driven in the HOV lane in LA which is akin to driving bumper to bumper at Le Mans. I know what sheer terror is. 85mph and less than a car length between cars? You are staring death in the face every second.

  13. So what? Do you presume to know the details? Remember..that’s where the devil is.

  14. If they were tailing him and throwing stuff into his car, he has a right to defend himself. I would consider it a road rage situation and I am surprised the complainants are not charged

  15. Maybe he was thinking of Psalm 35:3 and not Matthew:

    “Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”

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