WATERTOWN, N.Y. — Watertown police have arrested Michael Dumont, a former Fort Drum soldier, after he ran through city streets on an expletive-filled rampage.
"We've always been a little apprehensive about Mike," Samantha Winegrass, one of Dumont's coworkers, told reporters. "He seems friendly, but you know, he's a veteran."
Coworkers say that Dumont served at Fort Drum for four years before getting a job as a disturbed military veteran teller at a local bank.
"We weren't certain what would set him off," Winegrass continued. "Loud noises, backfiring cars ... none of that triggered a PTSD-induced flashback."
That was until Wednesday, when Dumont read an article in the New York Times by Kathleen Belew, which linked all veterans to the recent killings in Overland Park, Kansas, allegedly perpetrated by a veteran.
The article came just two days after The Huffington Post ran an article depicting locations of alleged veteran-perpetrated murders in America.
"He just snapped," Winegrass said. "He must have committed some sort of atrocity in Iraq. It's the only explanation. It's like all those articles really were true all along!"
Witnesses say Dumont — who never deployed to a combat zone — violently slapped the palm of his hand against his head after reading the article, and loudly blurted out profane remarks. Seconds later, Dumont began screaming something terrifying, witnesses said.
"Oh my God, the comments! The fucking comments! Gah!" he was reported as saying.
Doctors warn that many seemingly innocuous events can trigger bursts of violence from veterans, including asking them if they killed anyone in Iraq, or by forcing them to view AFN commercials.