YouTuber Attempts to Defame Army Veteran for Fame and Profit
SAN ANGELO, TX – “The guy has ‘F’ the police in the back of his car,” said retired U.S. Army Trooper Ronnie Wegner. The 23-year-old veteran was accused of verbal assault by local police hunter Jack Miller in a video Miller posted to his YouTube channel last week. The video shows Wegner confronting Miller outside Wegner’s Grape Creek property.
According to Wegner, he observed Miller cashing in on houses on his block for several days before the confrontation. “We had livestock equipment and stolen vehicles. We even had a shootout here,” Wegner said, describing the general unease he and his Grape Creek neighbors felt for weeks before last week’s confrontation on video.
“And this guy looks like a drug addict to me,” Wegner said.
Miller’s recorded ordeal began with Tom Green’s sheriff’s deputies arriving at Wegner’s neighbor looking for a shooting suspect.
“What happened there was a friend’s girlfriend shot her boyfriend in the leg and she ran off to my neighbor’s house,” Wegner said. “Deputies were there looking for this guy’s (shooting victim) girlfriend.”
A police action invites Miller to come and film while, according to Wegner, he was parked in front of Wegner’s property. Miller launched his fearless YouTube channel following an altercation he had at S. Bryant’s Walmart in October 2020 at the height of the nationwide “defund the police” movement. Miller was charged with public intoxication at Walmart by a caller to ship. When police arrived, Miller refused to identify himself, and San Angelo police handcuffed him. Since then, Miller has continued to harass law enforcement by showing up at traffic stops and crime scenes to film police. Miller obtained police body camera footage of the Walmart incident and uploaded it to his YouTube channel. He has since uploaded about 62 more videos of San Angelo law enforcement activities.
Wegner unknowingly drove into his Gator on Miller’s recording of the police action at Wegner’s neighbor’s house. Sheriff Nick Hanna said the video caused concern in his office as calls complaining about the video increased. Some thought Wegner was an officer in the sheriff’s office.
In the video, Wegner asked Miller if Miller wanted to get shot? Miller claimed it was a verbal assault. The other interpretation was that Wegner assumed that searching people’s private property might scare someone into defending themselves and their property, especially given the number of crimes committed in this neighborhood in recent months.
Miller is referring to Texas Penal Code 22.01 when Wegner makes his statement about Miller’s shooting.
“Do you want me to kick your ass? asked Wegner. “You want [someone] pull out a gun and shoot your a&%? »
“You know you just committed an assault,” Miller replies.
The penal code specifies that for a verbal assault to occur, the accused must “knowingly threaten another with imminent bodily harm”.
“Imminent” is the key word here.
Miller claimed he had filed a report with the sheriff’s office and was awaiting Wegner’s arrest. In the meantime, he called Wegner a “gangsta grandpa” in a later video.
Miller shouldn’t hold his breath, though. Law enforcement may forward the complaint to the county attorney. An indictment requires a grand jury of fellow Miller citizens to decide.
Wegner said he saw Miller parked in front of other residences over the past week and it reinforced his suspicions.
“I’m a little worried who’s going up and down my route,” he said. “In the military, if I saw someone bombing my base, I would form a quick reaction force to go and check on that person,” he said. “And so, I got in my Gator to see who he was and what he was doing. He baited me. I was trying to have a friendly chat and he wasn’t reciprocating. He acted so hateful.