Man wanted in shooting known for racist radio program

The Associated Press/October 28, 2001

Elrod, Ky. -- A former militia member on the run from eastern Kentucky police once hosted a radio show on which he made inflammatory comments about the U.S. government, blacks, Jews and immigrants.

Steve Anderson fled into the mountains on Oct. 14 after firing at a Bell County sheriff's deputy's cruiser. A search for him has turned up nothing.

But the 54-year-old left behind a history of on-air comments that caught the attention of the Federal Communications Commission, which rescinded his radio license in May, and the Anti-Defamation League, which complained to the FCC about Mr. Anderson's broadcasts. He also threatened an eastern Kentucky newspaper editor who included him in a series on hate.

In the incident earlier this month, Mr. Anderson was pulled over north of Middlesboro because of a broken tail light. Deputy Scott Elder was about to send Mr. Anderson on his way when he noticed gun clips lying on the seat, according to the Bell County sheriff's office.

When Deputy Elder asked about the clips, Mr. Anderson allegedly pulled up a rifle hidden beside him and began firing, strik ing Deputy Elder's cruiser about 25 times. Deputy Elder, who took cover behind the cruiser, was unhurt; his girlfriend, who was in the cruiser, suffered minor cuts from glass.

Mr. Anderson drove into the nearby mountains, where authorities said his truck was found the next morning with a pipe bomb and ammunition inside.

The shooting didn't surprise Pulaski County Sheriff Sam Catron, who told the Louisville Courier-Journal that he and his depu ties have had minor run-ins with Mr. Anderson over the years. In those he was arrested only once.

"He just didn't go across that line where we could take any legal action," Sheriff Catron said. "Our hands were tied because we didn't have a violation, but we knew it was only a matter of time."

The one time he was charged with a crime involved a 1993 incident in which he disarmed two hunters and destroyed their shotguns. Mr. Anderson - who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 230 pounds - became angry that the two men were shooting crows on property near his farm.

Mr. Anderson was armed at the time but didn't fire a shot. Mr. Anderson was arrested and later indicted on a charge of first-degree wanton endangerment.

He eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree wanton endangerment, a misdemeanor. He served one year on probation and paid to repair the shotguns.

Mr. Anderson is involved in the Christian Identity Movement, a loosely defined group that claims Jews are the offspring of the devil, the Anti-Defamation League said. But he continued to broadcast despite the FCC action to rescind his license.

Until April, Mr. Anderson was involved in the Kentucky State Militia, which held an April meeting in Grayson County that included combat training. The group said it booted Mr. Anderson out because he refused to shut down his radio operation.

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