Charges: Man left threatening messages and a knife at the State Capitol


A Minneapolis man is accused leaving threatening messages and sticking a knife into a podium inside the State Capitol.

Robert Joseph Anderson, 47, went to the State Capitol's House chamber – which is closed to the public because of construction – to meet with a senator, but when no one showed up he left the messages, according to charges.

He was charged Wednesday in Ramsey County District Court with first- and second-degree burglary and making threats of violence.

According to the criminal complaint:

The assistant sergeant-at-arms had found a man hanging signs in the House Chamber around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday – a day after the Legislature convened for the year.

The man told the sergeant-at-arms that he was there to see a "particular senator" and said not to remove his signs.

The sergeant-at-arms called Capitol security to report the suspicious person, but when officers arrived the suspect was gone.

Security found handwritten signs that "were cryptic but disturbing. They made references to religion, war on his family and murders."

They also found papers – a harassment restraining order filed against Anderson in Washington County last month – secured to the chamber's podium with a knife.

The person mentioned in the restraining order told police they suspected Anderson "was back on methamphetamine" because he began acting "very strange."

Anderson was arrested Tuesday night, and admitted to breaking into the Capitol, posting the signs and putting the knife into the podium.

Investigators said his statements were "cryptic and illogical at times" and he appeared to be "very upset over the restraining order against him."

He's being held on $100,000 bail, according to the Star Tribune.

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