HOUSTON — Neighbors of the Houston man who scrambled past armed federal agents into the Branch Davidian cult, said Thursday he is a helpful, religious loner.
Louis Anthony Alaniz, 24, lives in a trailer home north of Houston. Family members shooed away reporters who gathered there after federal agents in Waco announced his Wednesday night scamper past them into the cult led by doomsday prophet Vernon Howell, also known as David Koresh.
“I have nothing to do with what he’s doing. I didn’t even know that this was going to happen,” his mother Anita Young said. “I have nothing else to say.”
FBI agent Bob Ricks said Thursday that Alaniz was a member of the Assembly of God church, not a member of Howell’s cult, which has been in an armed standoff with authorities for 26 days.
“He was described as a religious fanatic by his own mother and is there in search of whatever truths that Mr. Koresh may be able to impart to him,” Ricks said.
Jack Linney, executive secretary for the Assemblies of God South Texas District Council, said he had never heard of Alaniz.
R. P. Holtz, who runs a vehicle inspection station in Alaniz’s neighborhood, said he walked by several times a day.
“He’s kind of an oddball, walk up the street snapping his fingers.” Holtz said. “He’s a nice fella, seems like he is.”
Ben Garcia, who runs an auto trim shop nearby, said Alaniz dressed well.
“I didn’t know anything about him being a religious person at all,” Garcia said. “I never saw him walking with anyone, he was always by himself.”
Neighbor Fred Hayes said, “He’s a good person, a religious person. He talked to me about the Lord all the time, everthing like that.”