CRIMINAL COMPLAINT: Man arrested for threatening RPD officers

Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 2:11 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) –A 52-year-old man is in jail after authorities say he sent threatening emails to Rochester Police Department (RPD) officers.

Josef Makatewassi was arrested on June 14.
Josef Makatewassi was arrested on June 14.(KTTC)

Josef Makatewassi was arrested on June 14 in Edina, he was then transported to Rochester, and is currently booked at the Olmsted County jail.

According to the criminal complaint, Makatewassi made threats to two officers and their families. The two officers have a family connection.

The messages warns “[redacted]” “to consider the welfare of your [three] blonde [daughters], as well as your personal safety...” The message accuses the officers of raping Defendant’s wife. The message states “The next time yu show up I KILL YOU!!! You wanted violence, you got violence. I will terminate each RPD police officer quickly!!!” The message states “F*** my wife, I am going to kill you COWARD!!!

Written in the criminial complaint

“In the month of April, one of the RPD officers had been involved in a case where he issued a citation to the suspect to this case for a domestic assault,” Schueller said.

The criminal complaint says that in May the same officer attempted to give Makatewassi an order for protection citation.

The criminal complaint also states that Makatewassi sent an email to one of the officers in May.

“The narrative of the emails talked about sex traffic, drug cartels, Nazis, and corrupt Rochester Police Officers,” written in the criminal complaint.

In June, Makatewassi emailed threats to the two officers and one of the officer’s spouses.

In one email he mentioned the name of one of the officer’s spouses and included a family photo of the other officer.

“One image was a photo of Officer [redacted] with a caption ‘Consider a Target for Assassination.’ There were also several pornographic images and videos that appear to have been downloaded from x-rated websites,” written in the criminal complaint.

Schueller said law enforcement members have received threats in the past.

“A lot of officers, I don’t want to say put up with it but maybe become a little bit used to being threatened but when it comes to family, it really takes on a whole new meaning for us,” he said.

Makatewassi has been charged with the following:

  • Terroristic Threats-Reckless Disregard Risk
    • Maximum Sentence: 5 years or $10,000 fine, or both
    • Offense Level: Felony
  •  Harassment - Reasonable fear of substantial bodily harm
    • Maximum Sentence: 1 year, $3000 fine, or both
    • Offense Level: Gross Misdemeanor

Makatewassi’s home address is in Edina, however, the complaint said that the alleged domestic violence incident occurred in Rochester.

The complaint also says that Makatewassi’s son contacted law enforcement about his father.

“Defendant’s son reported that Defendant is schizophrenic, he has anti law enforcement ideations, and that he was discharged from the U.S. Army for mental instability,” written in the criminal complaint.

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