A former soldier who threatened to shoot his way onto Fort Irwin to kill soldiers there is facing federal charges of making interstate threats after being arrested in the northern California town of Petaluma.
Christian Beyer, 41, was arrested and booked into Sonoma County jail on Wednesday after Petaluma police received a call about a disturbance at a home that Federal authorities said belonged to his father. Beyer had slipped away from police two days earlier about 50 miles north, when he was confronted by sheriff’s officers in the wine country town of Hopland, but escaped on foot.
Beyer was a sergeant first class at the end of his service, according to his service record released to Task & Purpose. He was an armor crewman in the Army from August 2000 to March 2023. He deployed to Iraq three times, including during the initial invasion in April 2003, and to Kuwait twice.
The FBI had been searching for Beyer over a series of YouTube videos in which he threatened to shoot his way onto Fort Irwin and kill specific soldiers.
“I will fucking come and hunt you,” Beyer said in one video. “I’m coming for you. I’m gonna kill your whole fucking family if they stay there.”
In the video, Beyer named several soldiers as his targets who the federal complaint says are assigned to Fort Irwin, including some assigned as base law enforcement.
In the federal arrest warrant, authorities said Beyer knew how to access Fort Irwin “through unofficial trails and/or means and knows how to circumvent official entry/access points.”
“You have like two days or I’m coming myself, and you know I can fucking get there. I will come there with guns,” the Army veteran said. “And if you guys shoot me at the fucking gate good for you and if you stand there and oppose me at the fucking gate I will shoot you because you’re my enemy at that point.”
In another social media post allegedly written by Beyer, he appeared to threaten police officers, writing “Go keep getting bridges and roads named after your fallen comrades.”
Law enforcement officials did not immediately explain why Beyer was eventually sought in Hopland, 600 miles north of Fort Irwin, or how he traveled the 60 miles from Hopland to Petaluma in the hours before he was arrested.
Beyer appeared to be arrested on October 28 in Hopland but released on Oct. 29. He uploaded the videos the next day, and then on Oct. 30, federal officials say, Beyer menaced a group of elderly people, allegedly brandishing a knife at a man before driving towards the group in his car, swerving nearly 13 feet off the street.
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Confronted by law enforcement in a nearby parking lot, Beyer abandoned his car and fled on foot, according to the complaint.
He remained at large until his arrest on Nov. 1 in Petaluma.
“Trick-or-treating was subdued with many residents concerned Beyer could still be on the loose,” Mendofever reported.
As a soldier, Beyer was a senior non-commissioned officer at Fort Irwin who began to have a series of legal run-ins in 2021.
According to military court records, Beyer was convicted at a court martial by a military judge in August 2022 for assault with the intent to inflict bodily harm and domestic assault along with contempt or disrespect toward a noncommissioned officer.
Beyer was jailed for 43 days, reduced in rank from master sergeant to sergeant first class, and ordered to pay $250 per month for 4 months, according to military court documents.
In April 2021, according to the federal criminal complaint against him, Beyer faced “administrative adjudication” for assault. The complaint quotes a memo by Brig. Gen. Curtis Taylor, who took over as Fort Irwin’s commanding officer that month. Taylor wrote he was “deeply concerned” that Beyer had “pushed” his wife and barricaded himself inside his residence with an unregistered firearm.
“Furthermore, you showed a lack of respect and decorum to Military Police upon your apprehension when you spit chewing tobacco on the floor of the patrol car and urinated in the police interview room,” Taylor wrote.
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