A 27-year-old man has been arrested and charged with making three rapid-fire vulgar and physically threatening phone calls this week to the St. Cloud-area office of Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, about two and a half months after similarly targeting Louisiana's governor with promises of bloodshed.
Ronnie D. McMillian, of Hawthorne, N.J., was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Newark with two counts of transmitting threats to injure another through interstate commerce.
U.S. Capitol Police also determined that McMillian "has frequently made harassing, vulgar and, on occasion, threatening phone calls" to various Congress members, state and other public officials, and their staff members, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey.
He specifically targets the public officials' position on gay, lesbian, transgender and transsexual rights, the statement continued.
According to the criminal complaint:
On Monday, McMillian called Bachmann's district office in Waite Park and began verbally harassing a Bachmann staff member about Republicans, calling them Nazis. She hung up when McMillian's language turned vulgar.
McMillian called back seconds later and threatened to harm the staffer and again used a vulgarity, prompting her to again hang up.
Calling yet again within seconds, McMillian said, "I am going to break your [expletive] face." The staff member ended the call and contacted police, who "took action to secure" the district office on 2nd Street S.
Specifically, police determined the caller's cell phone number and forwarded it to U.S. Capitol Police, said Waite Park investigator Tim Deschene. Additional patrols were also carried out that day, Deschene said.
U.S. Capitol police had been aware of McMillian's harassing calls for some time and warned him in July that he could be prosecuted unless he stopped. Investigators on Tuesday traced the calls to McMillian through cell phone records, leading to his arrest.
Bachmann's spokesman in Washington, Dan Kotman, said his office "won't be commenting on an ongoing investigation by law enforcement."
A similar round of calls targeted Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal at his constituent affairs office in Baton Rouge on Sept. 29, threatening at one point that he would shoot "every single one of you white Republican parasites."
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482