A 64-year-old man has pleaded guilty to pointing a handgun at a Maplewood fitness club manager while complaining that members were exercising without wearing face masks during a pandemic.

Michael M. Florhaug, of Maplewood, agreed Monday in Ramsey County District Court to plead guilty to felony threats of violence in connection with the confrontation on Dec. 31 at the LA Fitness on County Road D near White Bear Avenue.

Defense attorney Eric Newmark said the plea agreement calls for Florhaug to serve 90 days in jail, but he can argue at sentencing on Aug. 23 for less time if he continues to cooperate with authorities, takes an anger management class and completes a court-ordered psychological evaluation.

The plea deal also calls for Florhaug to admit to his conduct as alleged by the prosecution and to surrender the gun he used during the incident. In addition, the felony conviction will cost him his state-issued permit to carry a firearm in public, Newmark said.

Florhaug had been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, but that count was replaced with threats of violence. The initial charge could have led to prison time for Florhaug.

It was shortly before the closing time of 6 p.m. on New Year's Eve when Florhaug complained to a front desk employee about gym members inside without masks on, as the state required then as part of the effort to combat COVID-19.

Assistant manager Mike Olson stepped in and told Florhaug, who was not a club member, to leave while explaining that the gym lacked the staff to enforce the mandate. Florhaug yelled at Olson and said he intended to go around and photograph members.

Olson put up his hands to halt Florhaug, who countered by pointing a gun at him, the complaint continued. Olson backed away as Florhaug put the gun back in his sweatshirt pocket.

As Florhaug walked toward the front of the gym, Olson tackled him from behind, took the gun and removed its ammunition. Police soon arrived and arrested Florhaug.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482