Osama-hunter Gary Faulkner, 2010 Shmuck of the Year nominee

Westword is asking readers to help us select a Shmuck of the Year by rolling out a new candidate each week throughout the month of December.

The winner -- loser -- will be announced on January 3. Our first two candidates were Josh McDaniels and Scott McInnis.

This week, say hello to Gary Faulkner:

In June, fifty-year-old Gary Brooks Faulkner packed up his pistol, his forty-inch sword, a dagger and a pair of night-vision goggles for a little trip from Greeley to Afghanistan.

The goal: to find and kill Osama bin Laden.

But the wannabe avenger ran into a little trouble at the Pakistani-Afghan border when he was detained by Pakistani officials. Apparently, the heavily-armed (and heavily-bearded) Faulkner stood out from the crowd. "He's not insane; he's not psychotic; he's as normal as you and I," Faulkner's brother Scott told one newspaper reporter.

We beg to differ. After returning home empty-handed but safely, Faulker likened himself to bin Laden by referring to the pair as "two heavyweights" on the David Letterman show, then told the New York Post that he was in terrorists' cross hairs because of his commando mission. "They want me as bad as I want him," Faulkner told the Post. "My family has already been instructed where not to go, what not to do, because of safety concerns."

Indeed, there were safety concerns, but not because of terrorists. In October, Faulkner was arrested and charged with domestic violence and third-degree assault in relation to a car accident involving a female friend.

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