You should never threaten the police, even on Facebook.
CTV in Canada is reporting that a man was threatening to shoot police officers and that he had posted the threat on Facebook.
RCMP Const. Janice Schoepp says that a Facebook security officer contacted the FBI once they saw the threatening post. The FBI redirected the information to the mounties which led to the man’s arrest.
The posts were tracked to a house in St. Albert, which is just northwest of Edmonton. Schoeep says that the officers had to come up with a plan quickly.
What they learned is that the suspect was not at home, but had a wife and two children. The officers called the wife and had her leave the house. The two children were picked up at school.
After some negotiation, the man was taken into custody and charged with one count of uttering threats.
James Houtstra, a 32-year-old man, of St. Albert, has remained in custody and is scheduled to appear in court on January 30.
No details of the threats were released, but the Mounties confirmed that they contained threats to harm the police.
The most amazing part out of all of this is that not a day passed from when the posts were spotted and Houtstra being arrested. Schoepp believes that they received the information the same day the posts went up which allowed them to respond quickly to the threats.
This comes after the tragedy in 2005 where a gunman killed four Mounties in Mayerthorpe, Alberta.
“I think we take every threat where someone threatens to harm someone else seriously. Before Mayerthorpe and after, we’re always very careful about matters like this,” Schoepp said.
The lesson to be learned in all of this is to not make threats to police or other authority figures, especially on sites like Facebook where you can be tracked very easily.