Ex-candidate with assault rifle nabs drivers

Victoria Wulsin, Paul Hackett
Paul Hackett, left, a Cincinnati attorney and Iraq war veteran, jokingly shows Democratic congressional candidate Victoria Wulsin his ID outside their polling location Nov. 7 in Cincinnati.Al Behrman / AP file
/ Source: The Associated Press

An Iraq war veteran who drew national attention when he ran for Congress criticizing the president chased three men who had crashed into a fence outside his home, then guarded them with an assault rifle until police arrived, according to police reports.

The reports involving attorney Paul Hackett came to light during a grand jury investigation. His lawyer, Greg Moore, issued a statement Tuesday in which he acknowledged what happened and said Hackett was distressed "that the secrecy of the grand jury has been violated."

Police in the Cincinnati suburb investigated the matter and consider it closed, Chief Chuck Schlie said.

Hackett, a Marine reservist who served seven months in Iraq, attracted a wide following in 2005 when he ran as a Democrat in a special election for a U.S. House seat in southwest Ohio, criticizing President Bush and the Iraq war.

He narrowly lost to Republican Jean Schmidt.

According to a police report, officers were called to Hackett's home on Nov. 19 after a car crashed into a fence and sped away. The officers arrived to find three men lying face down near their car and Hackett with an assault rifle slung over his shoulder.

‘This time there was not a translation problem’
"He said he had done this about 200 times in Iraq, but this time there was not a translation problem," the police report said.

Hackett told police later that he was carrying a civilian model of an AR-15 and that one round was in the chamber but the safety was on. He said he never aimed the weapon at the men or put his finger on the trigger.

The driver of the car was charged with failure to maintain reasonable control, driving under suspension and carrying a concealed weapon, a pair of brass knuckles.