Authorities across the country were investigating threats against businesses and public events on Saturday, a week after a gunman killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and another fatally shot nine people outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio.
Police in New Haven, Connecticut, said they arrested a man overnight Friday on a charge of breach of the peace for allegedly posting a threat on Facebook against the Puerto Rican Festival of New Haven, which took place on Saturday.
Police said the man, Jeffrey Hanson, 53, of the New Haven suburb of Orange, posted this week that the annual festival was why “we need 30 round magazines.” Hanson, who is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday, posted $50,000 bond on Saturday, NBC Connecticut reported.
“Whenever anyone threatens the safety of anyone, it is something that is a high priority for us, especially with the climate today around the country where hateful rhetoric has led to violence,” Police Chief Otoniel Reyes said.
“We wanted to make sure that our public here in New Haven and the national public knew that this is not something we were going to take lightly,” Reyes said.
The incident was just one of several similar cases being investigated by law enforcement across the country:
- In Las Vegas, Conor Climo, 23, was charged with possession of illegal firearms and destructive devices on Friday. Federal prosecutors alleged that Climo was connected to white supremacists through encrypted online conversations and wanted to attack Jews and patrons of an LGBTQ bar.
According to charging documents, an FBI bomb technician found bomb-making components and chemical compounds in Climo’s bedroom. Federal agents said they also seized an AR-15 style rifle and a bolt-action rifle from the room.
“Threats of violence motivated by hate and intended to intimidate or coerce our faith-based and LGBTQ communities have no place in this country,” said Nicholas Trutanich, the U.S. attorney for Nevada.
- In Toledo, Ohio, Timothy J. Ireland Jr., 41, was held on $100,000 bond after he was charged Friday with making criminal threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-NY) on Facebook.
According to federal authorities, Ireland, who was arrested Thursday, posted: “She should be shot. Can’t fire me, my employer would load the gun for me.”
- Prosecutors in Greene County, Missouri, said Friday that Dmitriy N. Andreychenko, 20, was charged with making a terrorist threat after he sparked a panic at a Walmart in Springfield on Thursday.
Police said in court documents that Andreychenko walked into the store wearing a ballistic vest and carrying an AR-style rifle and that he told police he wanted to see whether the retailer “honored the 2nd Amendment.”
No shots were fired, and an armed man described as a former firefighter detained Andreychenko outside the store until police arrived, authorities said.
- In Orange County, Florida, Richard Dean Clayton, 26, of Winter Park, was held on $15,000 bond after he was arrested Friday night on a charge of making written threats to kill or do bodily harm in a joint investigation by the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Authorities said Clayton made a threat on Facebook on Tuesday that said, “3 more days of probation left then I get my AR-15 back. Don’t go to Walmart next week.”
The department of law enforcement said, “Clayton appears to believe in the white supremacist ideology and has a history of posting threats on Facebook using fictitious accounts.”
NBC affiliate WESH of Orlando quoted investigators as saying Clayton told an officer, “I hope that the next call you go to you get blown away and killed.” They said Clayton then asked whether the officer was Hispanic, saying: “They are what is wrong with this country. They come in and are ruining everything.”
- Michigan State Police said Paul Norgiel, 52, was arrested Thursday on a felony charge of making a terroristic threat in Armada, north of Detroit.
Authorities told NBC affiliate WDIV of Detroit that Norgiel, a custodian at Armada Elementary School, was arrested after a witness said the custodian claimed that he was bored and should go to a local business with an AK model rifle and 12 rounds of ammunition. State troopers said they found a semi-automatic long gun and a pistol at Norgiel’s home.
A probable cause hearing was scheduled for Aug. 20.
- Police in Weslaco, Texas, near Brownsville, on Thursday arrested a 13-year-old boy on a juvenile felony charge of making a terroristic threat in a joint investigation with the FBI. Police said the boy posted a threat on social media against a Walmart store.
NBC affiliate KVEO of Brownsville reported that the store was evacuated and closed late Wednesday after alarmed customers called the store and 911 operators to report a social media threat reading, “About to ruin my life murdering people that all I can do in life.”
- Police in Harlingen, Texas, said they arrested a man on a charge of making a terrorist threat early Saturday after he posted a threat on social media against the town’s Walmart store.
The man, who wasn’t identified, warned that the attack would take place on Sunday, police said. He was jailed pending an arraignment.
- Police in Kansas City, Missouri, said they were working with the FBI to investigate a threat against a local Walmart that was posted on Reddit and elsewhere this week.
No further details about this threat were immediately available.