Joshua Paul Calhoun likes to take things...BIG things

A judge sentenced Calhoun to 180 days in county jail, but he never served a day because the sentence was suspended for 15 months of probation. That should have kept Calhoun in Henderson County, but instead he went for a change, moving to tiny Westminster, Maryland — about 35 miles west of Baltimore — for work at the Lehigh Cement plant.

"Your guess is as good as mine," Linnie Calhoun says about Joshua's decision to head north. He had a good job in Brownsboro driving a service truck, Linnie says, repairing bulldozers and other heavy equipment. He drove that truck to Maryland, and the owner eventually had to send someone to retrieve it.

Calhoun stayed in Maryland, and his drinking led him straight back to trouble.

The arrest of a rural plane thief made headlines at newspapers across the state.
Jaime R. Carrero / Tyler Morning Telegraph
The arrest of a rural plane thief made headlines at newspapers across the state.
Calhoun has been arrested about a dozen times...
Courtesy of Henderson County Sheriff's Department
Calhoun has been arrested about a dozen times...

It started on September 7, 2007, when an officer in a squad car tried to pull Calhoun over, not long after 7 p.m., for speeding. According to a police report, Calhoun accelerated away, turning down a dirt road that was a dead end. Calhoun stopped at the end of the road and got out, and the officer told him to get back into the truck. Calhoun didn't stop, and the cop pulled his pistol and pointed it at Calhoun, causing him to turn around and put his hands on the roof of his truck. He was arrested for drunk driving.

Twenty-two days later, the same cop was responding to a disorderly conduct complaint, and as he drove up to the address, a white truck, driven by Calhoun, pulled onto the road followed by a car flashing its high beams. The officer turned on his service lights and crossed the road, driving straight towards Calhoun, who simply steered the truck off the road and pulled up next to the cop car, asking what was wrong. After failing a sobriety test, Calhoun was arrested on another drunk driving charge.

"I don't know what his deal was; he was kind of a loner," says a corporal with the Carroll County Sheriff's Office. "Needless to say, Mr. Calhoun got to become very popular with some officers around here."

Calhoun bailed out of jail on that last charge, but a couple months later, he spent a night drinking at the bar in the New Windsor Inn in Westminster until almost 2 o'clock in the morning, according to a police report. He left the bar in his Ford truck, immediately smashed into a guard rail and continued driving home.

A woman watched the whole thing from the New Windsor Inn parking lot, where moments before he drove away, Calhoun had mistakenly dropped his wallet. The woman called the sheriff's office, and a deputy picked up the wallet and drove out to Calhoun's house, where he found the Ford truck with "obvious fresh damage."

The registration sticker on the truck was altered and "fraudulently affixed to elude law enforcement into believing that the registration is valid." Calhoun was arrested again for drunk driving, along with several other charges, but after he made bail again he didn't stick around Maryland to face the judge. He still has active warrants in the state.

Calhoun headed back to Henderson County, and, according to court documents, he had to serve 90 days in jail for six probation violations, including leaving the county without permission.

He was in jail until January of this year, and about a month after his release and three days before he stole the airplane, Calhoun attempted another surprisingly bold theft. He tried to steal a truck and trailer and bulls from Stace Smith, who lives on a ranch outside of Athens and is one of the biggest rodeo producers in the country. His company, Smith Pro Rodeos, produces the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, known as the Super Bowl of rodeo.

Calhoun went out to Smith's ranch and stole a truck and trailer and found a couple ranch hands, telling them that Smith needed him to take some bulls to a rodeo in Oklahoma. Before they loaded up the bulls, however, they realized the truck was Smith's and held Calhoun down until the sheriff's deputies got there. No charges were filed in the case.

"Stace Smith is just that kind of guy," says Nutt, the Henderson County sheriff.

In the case of his most ambitious attempted theft — the plane at the Athens airport — Calhoun tried to talk his way out of another arrest.

When police busted him getting out of his truck, Calhoun said he had recently purchased the plane for $52,000 on the Internet with money he made working in the oil fields. He was shocked the plane was crashed, he told police, because he had landed it successfully at his grandparents' property in Echo Creek, a community south of Athens, and gave the keys to a friend who took off in the plane again. Problem was, the officers knew that the "friend" had died more than a year earlier. Calhoun was arrested and taken to the medical center for scratches on his face.

"I got those scratches feeding the cows there at Echo Creek," Calhoun told the reporter from the Athens Review.

Back in the Henderson County jail, Calhoun's bond was set at $50,000. He started calling all his old contacts who had bailed him out before, and one bondsman, who bailed him out on the DWI charge (he asked that his name not be used for the story), told Calhoun he would post bond if Calhoun's father would co-sign for it, as he'd done the last time, driving in from Dallas, paying off warrants in several counties, according to the bondsman. But Calhoun's dad wouldn't co-sign for the plane theft.

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This guy could be  cast as a repeat character on COPS or The World's Wildest Police Videos/Chases...


can anyone actually look at this guys picture and not be convinced that there is something wrong with him? he is a poster boy for mental health reform. i'll say one thing in his defense, aside from the border agent's minor injuries, he didn't hurt anyone, unlike these punkass thugs that walk around with a gun shooting at anything for any reason


The world is full of jokers like this and every town has one?Seriously?How many people do you two know that have stolen light aircraft?I certainly wonder where you live lol

Doyle Hargrave
Doyle Hargrave


Every town has one? I dare you to find another. He is a modern day Butch Cassidy any y'all are just jealous due to your mundane life.

Good article my friend,



Brownsboro is East Henderson County, not North.


it sounuds like a film story,but it is very true.not in a town but in every lane one is there.------------------------------------------------------------------

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There must have been absolutely nothing else for the author to write about. The world is full of jokers like this. Does the clown Calhoun merit a story? Really?


Every town has one.

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