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Charges: Man complains about gym users not wearing masks, pulls gun on manager

The 64-year-old told police he went to the gym to check on mask compliance.
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A man has been charged in Ramsey County after he allegedly pulled a gun on a gym manager after complaining about the number of gym users who weren't wearing face masks.

Michael Florhaug, 64, of Maplewood, was arrested in connection with an incident at the LA Fitness at 1940 County Road D in Maplewood on New Year's Eve.

Per the criminal complaint, Florhaug spoke to a front desk employee "in an aggressive and angry manner about gym members not wearing masks."

Under Gov. Tim Walz's changes to COVID-19 restrictions that went into effect before Christmas, gyms were allowed to reopen provided users wear masks even when working, and there is 12-feet of space between users.

A manager came to speak with Florhaug, at one point telling him to leave, and "tried to explain that staff cannot be everywhere in the gym to enforce the mask mandate."

The manager said Florhaug, who was not an active member of the gym, "was welcome to pay an employee out of his own pocket to enforce the mask rules at the back of the gym."

At this point, Florhaug called the manager "dumb," with the manager responding by telling him he couldn't enter the gym. Florhaug then said he "was going to walk around the gym to take pictures of people," with the manager alerting gym members when Florhaug entered.

Then, when the manager put his hands up to stop Florhaug entering the gym, he allegedly said "Oh, yeah?" before he "he reached into a pocket, pulled out a gun, and pointed it at [the manager's] chest," per the criminal complaint.

When the manager backed away, Florhaug put the gun back in his sweatshirt pocket and started walking towards the front of the gym.

The manager then tackled him from behind and disarmed him, removing the magazine from the gun and making sure there wasn't a round in the chamber.

When interview by police, Florhaug said he was a member of the gym but hadn't use it during the pandemic, and "came by to check how compliant people were being with the mask mandate."

He then claimed the manager "physically attacked him," and claimed that rather than point the gun at the manager, he had only "flashed" it.

Florhaug has an active permit to carry a firearm, the complaint says. He has been charged with 2nd-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

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