A husband and wife in Northwest Arkansas have been arrested on terror charges after allegedly threatening a waitress in a local diner. “People like you are the reason we kill,” the wife reportedly said to the victim. She further threatened the waitress on social media by posting a picture of her husband in “Muslim attire” kneeling with an assault rifle. This was not the first time the couple attracted the attention of law enforcement.
Police say Daphne Ridenour, who also goes by Daphne Crawford, and her husband Alan Crawford made terroristic threats to a waitress while eating in Mel’s Diner in Prairie Grove.
After the incident in the diner, investigators say the couple continued making threats on multiple social media websites.
According to the police report, on May 24, Alan Crawford was frustrated at Mel’s Diner. Alan Crawford was upset because his order was taking too long and he thought the food was too expensive, according to the report. Alan Crawford reportedly said, “Only a Christian would treat them like that,” because they practice Islam.
Before the Crawford’s left Mel’s Diner, it is reported that Daphne Crawford said,”People like you are the reason we kill.”
Daphne Crawford also threatened a victim on a Facebook post saying her husband would show up with an AK-47. According to the report, Daphne Crawford sent the victim a picture of her husband in “Muslim attire” kneeling with a weapon described as an assault rifle.
The victim of the social media threats says the FBI is also involved in the investigation of the couple.
Next page: The Crawfords had a long list of encounters with multiple law enforcement agencies.
The arrests of the Crawfords on Thursday follow a long list of encounters with multiple law enforcement agencies.
• In October 2009, Alan Crawford was arrested and booked in Sequoyah County on rape and sodomy charges. Those charges were later dropped.
• Law enforcement in 2015 discovered that the Crawfords were making radical comments and threats on social media about their conversion to Islam.
• In November 2015, when a military serviceman was killed, Muldrow police believed the Crawfords were a credible threat to the funeral, but did not have any charges against them at the time.
• In December 2015, the Crawfords were escorted out of Central Mall in Fort Smith for recording mall entrances against mall policy.
An officer in a police report regarding the incident said, “I had two unknown subjects come up to me and advise me that a male subject wearing a thobe was video recording everyone in the mall and he was video-taping the entrances of several stores.”
However, while speaking to KFSM, Crawford claimed he was only recording audio and that five officers were not needed to escort the family out of the mall. “He informed me that he needed me to lift up my thobe in order to obtain my ID. What crime I committed, I don’t know. I wasn’t aware that police officers show up five at a time to enforce mall law. If you want me to leave, I will leave happily,” Crawford said.
Further, he said he was at the mall to shop and hand out leaflets for a local charity. Crawford insisted he saw no sign prohibiting filming and recording in the mall.
“I audio recorded the police officer and held my camera in the manner that would lead him to believe that I did video tape while he screamed at me and told me that “I can confiscate your phone”. You can’t confiscate my phone for mall law. I violated mall law, OK? Which wasn’t even clearly posted,” he said.
• A police report says Alan threatened to kill a used car salesman back in March.
Fast forward to the Mel’s Diner incident and the alleged threats that occurred there and on social media. This is a couple with a history of behaving belligerently and then striking a victim pose, accusing others of Islamophobia. While the question of whether the Crawfords represent a serious threat to anyone remains in doubt, it does seem likely that they are publicity seekers trying hard to stoke a narrative about “Islamophobia.”