Today's news finds a disturbing story coming out of Huntersville, North Carolina (about 15 miles north of Charlotte), a story all the more disturbing if this man is actually a Freemason, which may well be the case, since most people who sport Masonic specialty plates on their vehicles are in fact Masons.
Steven Benny Stone, age 59, allegedly held four people at gunpoint on Sunday. Shots were reported fired. Stone then fled the scene in his green 1995 Ford truck with Masonic lodge specialty tags 3375M.
Stone turned himself in to police on Monday. He is charged with second-degree kidnapping, assault by pointing a gun, communicating threats and assault on a female. ["Assault on a female" is the way the news story reads — I can't imagine there's a law on the books that differentiates between "assault on a man" and "assault on a woman." But I could be wrong.]
Holes in his house indicate he fired a shotgun twice and a handgun at least twice.
The four hostages were Stone's friends.
"I was terrified," said Justin Hinton. "I thought I was dead. Terry [another hostage] looked at me and was like, 'Man, I'll be surprised if we make it out of here alive.'"
"There was no reason for it. He was telling us to call him 'yes sir, Stevie Stone sir,' like he was in commando or something," Hinton said.
After holding his friends hostage for more than four-and-a-half hours, fearing for their lives, Stone let the hostages go when Hinton told Stone he was tired and wanted to go home.
"He said, 'Alright, I love you guys and I'll see you tomorrow,' like nothing ever happened," Hinton said.
Stone's housemate Rick Groce said that Stone had recently stopped taking his medication that kept his emotions in check, and that he had been drinking heavily over the weekend.
He and Hinton still believe Stone would never intentionally hurt anyone.
Stone is a Vietnam veteran who served with the U.S. Marine Corps.
Thankfully, no one was hurt, and Stone is now "fairly cooperative" with police.
In Georgia, and perhaps in other states, it is illegal to wear or display the Masonic Square and Compasses unless you are a Master Mason. Since he had Masonic plates on his truck, I'd guess that Stone is a Mason.
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