By Nick Ferraro
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A 20-year-old South St. Paul man upset over a speeding ticket from a Minnesota State Patrol trooper turned to Twitter to threaten to kill the trooper and St. Paul police officers, prosecutors say.
Harrison William Rund was charged Thursday in Dakota County District Court with one count of terroristic threats — a felony that carries up to five years in prison.
Rund admitted to sending the tweets early Tuesday from his home computer under his Twitter handle, @Tha_Answer23, according to a criminal complaint.
The tweets were still on his Twitter account Thursday afternoon.
Rund's last tweet reads, "throw a grenade in the room, watch all you coppers kaboom" and includes a picture of a group of St. Paul police officers being led by a training officer.
The first tweet from Tuesday reads, "(expletive) the @StPaulPoliceFdn they don't call me the cop killer for no reason."
Others that also mention the St. Paul Police Federation include:
— "im lookin for Zelda boi and whichever trooper pulled me over lastnight gave me a ticket for goin 68 in a 60."
— "dude its (expletive) up Im getting so pissed out here im literally thinkin about just startin to hunt and kill cops."
Another, which mentions the police department's public information officer, reads: "(expletive) you st paul police im gonna kill 5 police officers today."
Rund was arrested at his home in the 300 block of Sixth Avenue about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
He told investigators that he was upset about being pulled over by a trooper early Tuesday and that he said some things on Twitter that he should not have, the complaint reads. Investigators confirmed that Rund was stopped about 1:30 a.m. in St. Paul.
Rund also acknowledged that it was him in a photo on his Facebook page holding a silver revolver, charges say. He admitted the gun was his, but that it is a cap gun that looks like a single-action pistol.
"When someone uses social media to threaten to harm police or law enforcement officials with the intent to get the message, we're going to take them seriously," Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said. "It is reckless disregard to cause fear."
St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos, who helps manage the department's Twitter accounts, said he discovered the threats early Tuesday.
"Right away, when I first read them, my thought was, 'Are you kidding me?' So I went in and looked up the conversation he was having and pulled up some of the photos," Paulos said. "That's when I took them as viable threats."
Paulos said he discovered that Rund had tweeted a photo of a Glock handgun this past summer.
"That tells me he does have the means to carry (a threat) out," Paulos said.
Rund was in custody at the Ramsey County Jail late Thursday, but was expected to be booked into Dakota County Jail on Thursday night or Friday, Backstrom said.
Rund is scheduled make his first court appearance Friday or Monday.
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