An investigation into an inflammatory social media post by a Houlton man that was flagged by a Republican lawmaker as potentially threatening has ended with no charges.
The result of the investigation infuriated the lawmaker, Rep. Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, who tweeted late Thursday he was “embarrassed by the Capitol police.”
Capitol Police contacted Garry Fay, 60, after an aide to Jarchow alerted them to a social media post in which Fay was critical of Jarchow’s support for an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Fay was reacting to a previous Twitter message from Jarchow in which he stated he loved his AR-15.
“Is he saying he wants us to visit his children’s school with AR 15s and lots of magazines to shoot off a few rounds to prove we love the 2nd amendment as much as he does?” Fay wrote. “Then we should shoot up his church and home and finally go gonzo on Congress itself?”
Fay told a police officer he posted the comment because he was disturbed by Jarchow’s Twitter message given “everything going on in the world,” according to a Capitol Police report. The officer responded that Fay’s social media comment could be taken the wrong way and interpreted as a threat.
Fay said he was trying to make a point, but apologized and said he had no intention of doing what he had posted. He said he didn’t own any guns and never planned to own any.
In a series of tweets Thursday afternoon, Jarchow, who is not running for re-election, criticized Capitol Police for not contacting him after it concluded its investigation and called it a “bozo operation.”
“I guess now you can threaten the family of public officials so long as when the cops ask about it, you say ‘just kidding,’” Jarchow wrote. “The moronic things people get tickets for and this (expletive) gets zip? Next time I hope he says it to my face.”
Steve Michels, a spokesman for the Department of Administration, which oversees Capitol Police, said in response to Jarchow’s tweets: “Capitol Police investigated the incident and determined the Facebook post was not a credible threat.”