Citizen of the Week! The Sword-Wielding Cholo


One day in April 2006 in the City of Orange, wanted criminal Tyrone “Thumper” Christopher Rye got high on marijuana and stood at a street intersection holding a sword.

What Rye–an uneducated, convicted felon tied to the Orange Varrio Cypress gang and the Mexican Mafia–was planning may never be known.

But people were rightly suspicious and when a police officer approached, Rye fled, dropped the sword, jumped over a fence and disappeared, according to court records.
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He eventually entered an occupied residence to hide. While in the horrified person's home, Rye drank water, grabbed a pear,
demanded a shirt and fled. Cops captured him. He gave a false name and,
among other things, told police: “Fuck you,” before stating that he wouldn't talk after his Miranda warning.

But he continued to speak.

Here is one of his
recorded statements: “Ey, who's, who, who, who's,
who, who's, who doesn't play those games here? Thumper from Orange
County . . . What's up? Ey, fools get somebody from, that's up with our
stuff on it . . .”

Exactly. Can we get some answers? Who's? Who? Who? Who's? Who? Who's? Who?


The
37-year-old Rye contested his 2010 conviction and a 20-year prison sentence.
He didn't think his statements to police should have been
shared with his jury and it was unfair that his theft of a pear constituted robbery after he invaded a home while fleeing police.

In
a Jan. 10 decision, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa
Ana determined in an opinion written by Justice Raymond Ikola that none of Rye's complaints were valid.

Rye became a hoodlum at the age of nine, never attended middle or high school and has been arrested at least 21 times during a 25-year-period, according to court records.

(Click HERE for previous “Citizen of the Week!” losers.)

–R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

R. Scott Moxley’s award-winning investigative journalism has touched nerves for two decades. An angry congressman threatened to break Moxley’s knee caps. A dirty sheriff promised his critical reporting was irrelevant and then landed in prison. The U.S. House of Representatives debated his work. Federal prosecutors credited his stories for the arrest of a doctor who sold fake medicine to dying patients. Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; and hailed by two New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing Southern California law enforcement corruption.

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