A suspicious vehicle that was sighted and reported to the Henderson County, North Carolina Sheriff’s department lead to the arrest of a man breaching a protective order. As reported in the Hendersonville Lightning, Radames Caquias Hodges was found in close proximity to a building occupied by the party that filed the order.
When Hodges was arrested, police found a loaded semiautomatic shotgun, a machete and methamphetamine in his vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office. Hodges also was in fact in violation of a domestic violence protective order, which included a prohibition on the possession of a firearm.
According to an arrest record reported by Busted Newspaper, this is not Hodges’ first arrest for violating a protective order. Just a few months ago, in October of 2020, Hodges was detained for “Communicating Threats.”
Thankfully for the safety of whomever is being protected via the order, the vehicle that Hodges was in was reported to police. Unfortunately, all too often those who are a party in a restraining order do not get the relief they should be afforded. After all, a restraining order is just a piece of paper, not a suit of armor. While the full details of the arrest are not known, other than Hodges being picked up for being in proximity of the party and being in possession of a firearm while subject to such an order, this is proof positive that protective orders may allow for the police to make an arrest, but they won’t stop a perpetrator by themselves.
Hodges was charged with a domestic violence protective order violation, a misdemeanor, and possession of a firearm in violation of a domestic violence protective order and possession of methamphetamine, both felonies. He was jailed in the Henderson County Detention Facility under a $77,000 bond.
Thanks to our revolving-door justice system, Hodges was able to continue to prey on his victim. What may come of him after this arrest remains to be seen. However, this case calls into memory a similar one out of New Jersey, involving a Berlin woman.
Carol Bowne was murdered by her stalker just steps from the front door of her home. Bowne’s story is particularly sad because not only did she repeatedly seek help and protection from the police, she was also effectively denied a pistol purchaser’s permit, as the jurisdiction of issuance failed to grant her a permit within the statutory 30 days NJ gives authorities. Further, had Bowne been issued a permit to purchase, her ability to actually bear that arm would have been stifled by New Jersey’s draconian carry permit law that reads “may issue” but is in fact “no issue.”
The right to protection and self defense falls on the individual. The Supreme Court has ruled that the police have no duty to protect individual citizens, which means that our personal safety is ultimately our responsibility. Restraining orders and protective orders don’t actually prevent any crime from occuring; they just offer the possibility for another criminal charge after the fact. What makes lawmakers, policymakers, the justice system, et.al. think that someone with a history of criminal intent will stop the first time they are called out? Hopefully this is the last we’ll be hearing about Hodges and that any victim he has remains safe from harm.
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of “Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use” and NRA certified pistol, rifle and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii