Disgruntled former KSTP employee charged with threat referencing Maryland newspaper shooting

He's been charged with threats of violence, a felony in Minnesota.
Author:
Publish date:

A former employee of Hubbard Broadcasting in St. Paul has been charged with making threats of violence, allegedly referencing the mass shooting at a Maryland newspaper that left five people dead on June 28.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County, 37-year-old Rusty Gene Arntson of Brooklyn Center made multiple disturbing comments in a phone call with Hubbard Broadcasting's director of security. 

The security director for Hubbard Broadcasting, which owns KSTP-TV, initiated the call with Arntson after learning that the former employee was on the company's campus making unsettling comments. Arntson, who had been fired in 2017 for an alleged confrontation with a female co-worker, told a current Hubbard worker that women are like black widow spiders, then added: "I won't kill you because you're a man." 

The frightening comment was made June 21. On June 25, the security director left a message asking to speak with Arntson, who returned the call on June 29. 

It was during that call that Arntson became emotional, repeatedly demanding he get his job back, and at one point saying: "You know what happened yesterday in Maryland." He told the security director that he expects to get his job back and then ended the call.

Arntson was referring to the mass shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, where five staff members were murdered by a disgruntled man on June 28. 

Today's Top Stories

Dangerous flooding closes roads, forces evacuations in southwest MN

Amazon announces Prime Day 2018, expands it to 36 hours

Get more top MN stories by subscribing to our free newsletter

Police arrested Arntson, who denied any intention to carry out a malicious attack against Hubbard Broadcasting, instead claiming that he used the Capital Gazette shooting as a warning that employees who are treated poorly could come back to hurt them. 

He added that he is a Christian and won't hurt anyone because he would burn in hell for it. 

The sergeant who interviewed Arntson noted that he made other "bizarre statements," including one where he claimed the FBI and Department of Justice are involved in his dispute with Hubbard Broadcasting over unemployment insurance. 

Arntson has a permit to carry a firearm out of Hennepin County, the complaint notes. 

If convicted, Arntson faces up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. 

Next Up

PD Shimmers closeup

Man with Parkinson's lights up Plymouth with synchronized light show

"The best medicine I have for my disease is what I try to do with the light show," Mike Justak said.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

flickr-mall-of-america-mitchell-hirsch-march-2019

When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.

Minnesota_Welcome_Sign_-_Minnesota_Welcomes_You_-_Taylors_Falls_(28269804891)

Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.

Texa-Tonka

Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Related

Michael Samuel Butler

Charges: Fired employee planned to shoot Minneapolis co-workers

The man worked for Minneapolis Public Water Works Treatment and Distribution Service.

Governor Tim Walz

Charge: Man threatened to burn Gov. Walz in body storage warehouse

The 51-year-old Blaine man has been charged with making threats of violence, a felony.

Charges: St. Cloud man chopped off tips of neighbor's fingers

The defendant was arrested and charged with two felonies.

Student arrested for threatening school shooting in Winona

Another student informed school staff of a threatening video.

Dennis Duane Vann

Charges: Maplewood standoff suspect had possible pig-shaped explosive

The Cambridge man is facing multiple felony charges.

Nathan James Homme

Charges: Wisconsin man planned to kidnap Shoreview woman

The 39-year-old man has been charged with two felonies.

Schools in South St. Paul close after threat of shooting

Schools were closed out of an abundance of caution.