Oldham neighbors stunned by arrest of Australian suspect

Louisville, KY (WAVE) - It's the story that's grabbed international headlines---with the arrest of a suspected terrorist right here in Kentucky.

50-year-old Paul Douglas Peters, an Australian nationalist appeared in Federal Court in Louisville Tuesday.

Neighbors in the Buckner subdivision where he was arrested say the man who arrived to court in shackles is not the man they knew.

Their streets are full of kids, pets and friendly neighbors.

Smashed mailboxes and spray paint, some vandalism about a year ago was the worst thing that ever happened in the Heather Green subdivision until Monday afternoon.

"It was very surreal, " said neighbor Amy Bush, " to see that in your neighborhood."

What they saw? An FBI swat team with guns drawn swarmed in on a home and a man accused in a major international crime.

Bush remembered, "They all hopped out with their high powered rifles and kind of cautiously walked up to the side door and got in there and found him."

Her neighbor Rebecca Potter told WAVE 3 News, "It's hard to wrap your head around, I had no idea that something this huge would ever happen in the neighborhood I live in!"

To them, Peters who was staying with his ex-wife was an average guy. Bush said she saw him driving through the neighborhood all the time in the last week or so, "He's very friendly," she said, " He waved to us you know, and said Hi."

The investment banker and attorney is the prime suspect in a highly publicized teen torture and extortion case in Australia. In court documents, 18 year old Madeleine Pulver, the daughter of a wealthy Sydney businessman said her attacker forced a box against her throat and locked it with a chain and a note demanding money.

It read in part: "Plastic explosives are located inside ...the case is booby trapped."

It was on the girl for ten hours before bomb experts figured out it was a sophisticated fake.

Police say surveillance video and car records link Peters to the crime.

His attorney Scott Cox told reporters Tuesday of his ex-wife Debra Peters, "There's no reason to believe that she has any involvement in this." Debra Peters ex-wife was upset outside the federal courthouse and

back at home where she asked police to ensure privacy for her kids.

Neighbor Linda Rankin said, "They're a nice family and the girls are sweet, so we really feel bad for the girls and Debra."

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