- Associated Press - Monday, August 17, 2015

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) - A northwestern Indiana county assessor says he hopes the second credible threat of violence against his staff in five years leads to security upgrades.

Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder told The (Munster) Times (https://bit.ly/1Ey0hwg ) the latest incident occurred Thursday afternoon.

Police say a 67-year-old Westville man had gone to the county treasurer’s office to pay his property tax bill and complained about an increase in his most recent assessment. When a worker there directed the man to the nearby assessor’s office to dispute his assessment, he said, “Maybe I should just bring a gun back and shoot them.”

The treasurer’s office worker told police the man didn’t smile, smirk or laugh when he made the threat. The man later told police he intended no harm.

Porter County Councilman Jim Biggs said he plans to seek funding to address the situation.



“I have felt for some time now that there should be security assigned to the admin building,” Biggs said. “Given the type of business conducted and the amount of visitors received each day, we should absolutely have security in that building when open for business.”

A police officer, who later reached the disgruntled taxpayer by phone, said the man admitted to saying, “I ought to bring a gun back with me.” He said he was frustrated over a nearly $120 increase in his assessment, police said.

The man reportedly dismissed the police officer when told such threats are socially unacceptable. The man also lacked interest when told he caused fear in the worker in the treasurer’s office, police said.

The man reportedly told the officer he had no intention of returning to the county building to harm anyone. He acknowledged owning firearms, but would not say what types, police said.

The case has been referred to prosecutors.

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Information from: The Times, https://www.thetimesonline.com

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