State Patrol: Man arrested for threats to governor, staff

A man has been arrested in connection with threats made to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and his staff, authorities said.

Troopers arrested Shawn C. Rowland Tuesday evening at his home south of Everett in Mill Creek, Washington State Patrol spokesman Chris Loftis said in a news release.

Earlier Tuesday, Loftis said a threatening message was left on the voicemail of the Governor’s Office of Constituent Services by someone using a phone associated with Rowland.

An investigation showed the same phone had been used in a threat made to the Virginia State Legislature in February, Loftis said.

The Olympian reported Rowland told investigators he was upset with the governor for violating people’s constitutional rights, according to Loftis. Loftis added that the man’s concerns were directed to the restrictions regarding COVID-19.

It wasn’t immediately known if Rowland has a lawyer to comment for him.

“These are indeed troubling times for all of us,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste, “and there are certainly points of consideration and debate in this unprecedented pandemic environment. But…” he added, “no one has the right to threaten the life of the Governor, or any of the people who work for or with him as they address the myriad of important considerations associated with this unique period in our history.”

The Washington State Patrol, by state law, is charged with protecting the governor and his family.