By HEATHER ROBERTS
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
The Deschutes County District Attorney says the FBI is investigating a death threat made against him and his staff.
The threat appeared as a comment on the DA’s Facebook page.
Comments to “Keep your doors locked” and “You will pay for this with your lives” were posted last week from the account of Jonathan Bailey.
District Attorney John Hummel says he immediately reported it to federal investigators.
“So, I took that to be a threat to me and everyone in my office, so you bet I take it seriously,” he said.
At about the same time, messages appearing to be from Bailey arrived in the county’s Facebook Messenger inbox … one simply saying “Bomb Threats.”
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office investigated and determined it was not a credible threat.
Bailey has had several run-ins with law enforcement over the last five years; his most recent arrest was last July.
“A witness saw Mr. Bailey choking his dog – strangling his dog in his car,” says Hummel, “and then, when the police came, he was also drunk so, it was a drunk driving and animal abuse prosecution.”
He pleaded “no contest” in December and was sentenced to probation, which he allegedly violated in January.
There is now an outstanding warrant for his arrest, his whereabouts are unknown.
“It’s a jolt, right? It’s jarring when you get a threat,” Hummel said, adding he believes he’s received around five death threats in the five years he’s been in office. “And, I’m not running in fear, but I’m also not reckless. I’m aware of my surroundings, I make sure I take basic safety measures. The vast majority – l mean, close to 100% of the people don’t wish to do me harm. But, you only need one person, right?”
The FBI would not comment on the investigation, but Hummel said it doesn’t change the work his office is doing.
“If someone’s making a threat like this, all they’re going to get is a criminal charge; they’re not going to achieve some aim of having me or my deputies stand down from our work or having the criminal justice system stop,” he said.
Hummel encourages anyone who sees a threat on social media – toward anyone – to report it to police, “and let the law enforcement professionals decide whether it’s a credible threat.”