Alleged workplace attack threats prompt arrests in California, Wisconsin


(Reuters) – Authorities in California and Wisconsin have arrested two men with large caches of firearms who they accused of threatening to attack their workplaces, following a spate of recent mass shooting threats and three deadly attacks since July.

Illegal high-capacity magazines and an assault rifle along with multiple guns, ammunition are seen in this Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) photo in Long Beach, California, U.S., released on August 21, 2019. Courtesy LBPD/Handout via REUTERS

In California, Long Beach police said they arrested Rodolfo Montoya, 37, on Tuesday, a day after he threatened to attack the hotel where he worked because he was upset over an employment-related issue.

Police said they found an arsenal that included illegal high-capacity magazines and an assault rifle at the Rodolfo’s home in nearby Huntington Beach after they were notified of the verbal threat by a fellow employee of the Long Beach Marriott.

Montoya was being held on $500,000 bail after being charged with manufacturing and distributing assault weapons, possessing an assault weapon and making a criminal threat, police said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear whether Montoya was represented by a lawyer.

In Wisconsin, 31-year-old Kevin Pinkham was arrested on Tuesday after telling a co-worker at the Eau Claire distribution center where he worked on Aug. 15 that “I’m going to shoot this place up,” according to a criminal complaint.

An investigating officer concluded that “multiple employees at Menards Distribution Center feared for their life based on the defendant’s threats,” the complaint said.

The complaint said Pinkham denied making the threats, but admitted having replied to a text from his girlfriend who asked if he was having a bad day, “No, I’m just going to kill everyone.” He told investigators he was only joking, it said.

Police said they found several rifles, handguns and ammunition at Pinkham’s home, as well as a loaded Walther 9mm pistol in his car.

Pinkham, who was charged with making terrorist threats and disorderly conduct, was being held on $10,000 cash bond and was scheduled for a court appearance next Tuesday. His attorney did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The arrests come amid a slew of threats in the past week to carry out mass shootings and follow actual firearms attacks since late July that killed at least 34 people in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and David Gregorio

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