County commissioner out of jail for holding game warden at gunpoint

BIG SANDY (KYTX) - An Upshur County commissioner is released from jail after holding a Texas game warden at gunpoint.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Lloyd Crabtree and his son Todd were released from jail Sunday morning, each on $40,000 bonds.

CBS 19 spoke in person with Crabtree today, who said he is not ready to make a statement right now, and is getting a lawyer.

However, he did allow us onto his private property to shoot exclusive video where the standoff took place.

Crabtree says his private property on Dial Road in Big Sandy, is where he goes to get away on weekends - but around 2:00 Saturday afternoon, the land turned into a crime scene.

Mike Cox with Texas Parks and Wildlife says, "State Game Warden Sean Bailey was doing a routine check of hunters on private property."

Cox says Warden Bailey was on Crabtree's property legally.

"They have full statutory authority to check any public or private property where any hunting or fishing occurs."

But this was no ordinary hunting check.

"Suddenly two men emerged from the trees where the game warden was walking and confronted the game warden with fire arms and actually disarmed our game warden and held him at gun point," Cox says

Police say the two men with guns were Lloyd Crabtree and his son Todd.

"Fortunately at some point during the incident our game warden was able to use his cell phone and call 911," Cox said.

Within minutes, law enforcement flooded the small country road.

Kyle Watts and his family own the property next door. They know lLloyd and Todd Crabtree personally, and were shocked to see more than 20 law enforcement vehicles on their street.

"We didn't really know what to expect," Watts said. "Didn't know if anyone was injured or hurt or what had happened."

Fortunately, no shots were fired, and no one was hurt. Cox says the stand off between the Crabtrees and law enforcement only lasted 20 to 30 minutes.

The Crabtrees eventually surrendered and were arrested. They were booked into the Upshur County Jail around 6 p.m. Neighbors say law enforcement vehicles didn't leave the scene until about 8:30 p.m.

DPS troopers and game wardens were back at the scene Sunday, continuing the investigation. They blocked the road leading up to Crabtree's property as they tried to figure out what happened during those 30 minutes, and more importantly, why.

Both Lloyd and Todd Crabtree have been charged with aggravated assault on a public servant.

The investigation will continue. It's being handled by the Texas Rangers and the Texas Parks and Wildlife's Department of Internal Affairs.


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