MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A former nuclear power plant employee has been charged with making terroristic threats
According to court documents, 58-year-old Robert Johnson threatened union officials after losing his job at the Monticello nuclear power plant.
It began on May 10, when a worker at the Monticello power plant contacted union offices in St. Paul and told them he couldn’t work with Johnson anymore because of his behavior.
Two days later, Johnson showed up for a meeting at union headquarters and began making threats.
According to the criminal complaint, Johnson told a union representative that he is an ex-marine, that he is certifiably crazy, and that he has a rifle with a scope. He also told the rep to resign.
After saying that, witnesses say Johnson made a whistling noise that sounded like a bullet.
On May 13, Johnson was fired from his job at the power plant and police say he once again returned to the union office and tried to engage an employee in a fistfight.
They say he also threatened to show up at a union meeting on May 20.
The day of that meeting, police say they found Johnson and arrested him at the Monticello VFW. And when officers searched his car they say they found leg irons, igniter fluid, propane, six pounds of the explosive Tannerite, 20-gauge shotgun shells and 500 rounds of .22 caliber rifle shells.
When questioned by police, Johnson said he was planning a “surprise attack.”
Investigators say he then clapped his hands and said, “Boom. Tick tock, tick tock.”
Thuy Nguyen works across the street from the union’s headquarters and said she’s concerned about their safety.
“The fact that they feel unsafe at work, it’s a huge concern,” she said. “You wouldn’t think something would happen so close to where I work everyday. It’s not something you want to wake up to and hear.”
Johnson is out of jail after posting bond on Tuesday.
He has been charged with three counts of making felony terroristic threats.
He is scheduled to appear in court on June 11.
Police say Johnson has a history of being fired from jobs for various reasons.
In a statement, union officials say their primary concern is for the hundreds of people who visit their building every day.