GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Brian Titus, who offered an old friend, Adam Fox, a job and a place to stay, said Fox had to be crazy to allegedly plot the kidnapping of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and overthrow of the government.
If he had known what Fox was allegedly up to, Titus would have kicked Fox out long ago, he told MLive/The Grand Rapids Press on Thursday, Oct. 8.
“What he did is totally insane,” he said. “If I knew that I would’ve called police.”
Titus owns Vac Shack Vacuums, a 40-year business, at 36th Street SW and South Division Avenue in Wyoming. He has known Fox since Fox was a kid, and helped him out by letting him work at the store.
He let Fox stay at the business while looking for a place to live after Fox recently left his girlfriend’s Kalamazoo home. He told Fox he had to be out by Nov. 1.
The government said that Fox used the business for a secretive June 20 meeting with several others.
“As part of FOX’s operational security, the attendees met in the basement of the shop, which was accessed through a trap door hidden under a rug on the main floor. FOX collected all of their cellular phones in a box and carried them upstairs to prevent any monitoring,” an investigator said in a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday.
A confidential source; however, was wearing a recording device and “captured the audio from the meeting. The attendees discussed plans for assaulting the Michigan State Capitol, countering law enforcement first responders, and using ‘Molotov cocktails’ to destroy police vehicles,” FBI special agent Richard J. Trask II wrote in court documents.
Fox was portrayed as a leader of the alleged plot.
In a separate meeting, the FBI agent wrote: “FOX said their best opportunity to abduct Governor Whitmer would be when she was arriving at, or leaving, either her personal vacation home or the Governor’s official summer residence. Both residences are located in the Western District of Michigan. FOX described it as a ‘Snatch grab, man. Grab the … Governor. Just grab the … . Because at that point, we do that, dude — it’s over.”
“FOX said that after kidnapping the Governor, the group would remove her to a secure location in Wisconsin for ‘trial,’” Trask wrote.
Titus said he had “no clue” that Fox was allegedly involved in the plot. He said Fox talked about being in a militia group said such groups are becoming more common.
Police raided his business Wednesday night. He disputed the notion that his business had a hidden door. He said two doors open on the floor to reach the basement.
“There’s no trap door,” Titus said.
He said Fox apparently had a side he had not seen before.
“This is insane,” Titus said. “Who would plan something like that unless you’re not in the right mind?”
Titus spent Thursday fielding calls from media. He had work he needed to do.
Titus wanted to assure customers that his business is safe and he had no part in the alleged plot. It’s been hard enough with the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s safe to come in,” he said. “I’m a Marine veteran, 12 years. You’re safe.”
If he had known, Titus said, he would have kicked Fox out long ago.