On Monday I got a phone call from a man named Easton Elliott. We talked briefly on Monday, and have had additional telephone conversations since then. Elliott* is a businessman who lives in the Las Vegas area, and he thinks he knows what really happened to Harry Reid. This is the story as he related it to me:
Elliott spent a portion of last New Year’s Eve at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Henderson, Nevada. His AA group has meetings every hour on New Year’s Eve, along with a pot luck supper. There were approximately 20 people present at the meeting during the events described below.
Some time between 10:00 and 11:30 p.m., a man entered the meeting. His appearance was striking: there was blood on his clothing, beginning around his midsection. His left hand was swollen. He appeared to be somewhat intoxicated and was visibly agitated. He introduced himself as “Larry.”
In a group discussion that was heard by a number of people, Larry said that he had just had a fight with a family member. Larry said he had been at a family get-together, and he didn’t remember much about the fight because he had blacked out. When he came to, he was rolling on the ground, fighting with a family member, and his clothes were bloody. Now, he said, he was frightened that the Secret Service would come after him.
This last reference was not taken seriously by the group, although it was obvious that Larry had indeed been in a fight. Larry stayed for the rest of the meeting, and for a while afterward. There is a front room where coffee is served, and he remained there for a while. At some point during that time, he asked whether anyone could give him a ride to Searchlight.
Larry’s appearance at the AA meeting was memorable, as references to fighting, bloody clothes and so on are extraordinary in that group.
Easton Elliott didn’t think much more about Larry until, several weeks later, he saw a newspaper story about Larry Reid, Harry Reid’s brother, being arrested for DUI and assaulting a highway patrolman. The story was accompanied by a photograph, and Elliott immediately recognized Larry Reid as the “Larry” who had attended the AA meeting on New Year’s Eve. Putting that fact together with news stories about Harry Reid being admitted to a hospital on New Year’s Day, and with Larry’s references to the Secret Service, he concluded that the family member with whom Larry fought was Harry Reid. He also knew that Harry Reid’s home is within a short distance of the location of the AA meeting.
Subsequent to the news story about Larry Reid’s arrest, Elliott discussed with several others who had been present on New Year’s Eve his belief that “Larry” had been Larry Reid. They, too, recognized Larry from the newspaper photograph. One of those who had been present at the AA meeting called Las Vegas’s Channel 8 to tell them about Larry Reid’s account of fighting with a family member, but that person said that whoever he spoke with at the television station told him they were not interested.
That is Easton Elliott’s account. I can’t vouch for it, of course, but if what he says about the AA meeting is accurate, the inferences he draws seem reasonable.
Someone attacked Harry Reid on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day; that much seems clear from photographs and from the nature of his injuries. So far, to my knowledge, no one has investigated to try to find out what really happened. My “investigation” consisted of answering my telephone. Perhaps those reporters who were so eager to dig through Sarah Palin’s dumpster and track down Mitt Romney’s high school classmates will now swing into action, carry out an actual investigation, and either confirm or refute the events described by Mr. Elliott.
Easton says that he is willing to go on radio or television to tell his story. He says, “I’m a citizen who believes in God and feels compelled to do the right thing—tell the truth. Harry Reid could learn a lesson from me in being truthful!” Plus, there are quite a few more witnesses. It shouldn’t be hard to find them, if you are a reporter.
Last night, I offered Harry Reid’s spokesman an opportunity to comment on this story. The response that came back was meaningless and, notably, did not include a denial:
*”Easton Elliott” is the name he goes under in his second career as an addiction recovery life coach. In his business career he uses his given name. He is known to the AA members who witnessed the events he describes here, and to the recovery community generally, as Easton Elliott.
UPDATE: Elliott/Pfeifer has now recanted his story. Details here.