Man faces charges over Facebook threat to Colorado senator

9NEWS @ 5. 9/19/2016

DENVER (AP) - A 21-year-old Arvada man was arrested after police say he sent a threatening message to a state lawmaker on Facebook.

Police say Dylan Hopkins was taken into custody Saturday after Sen. Laura Woods received a message in which Hopkins threatened to shoot her and her family.

Woods says she was in a town hall meeting when she opened the message. She also received a post from Hopkins which was attached to an ad campaign of hers.That message allegedly said "Why don't you just shoot herself [sic]." Woods said she deleted that message.

"He had sent a message on a social media ad that I was running. And the message simply suggested that I should shoot myself," Woods told 9NEWS. "It was just one of those ones you just delete it, you don’t get upset about it. But within 10 minutes I got this very threatening message that was way over the line."

Police responded after Woods notified them of the threat. Police were able to contact Hopkins who eventually admitted he had sent the Facebook message because he was upset about the upcoming election.

He also said he had used a secondary Facebook account to send the message. 

Hopkins, who lives with his parents, faces charges of harassment involving use of a computer. During a court appearance on Monday, he was granted a personal recognizance bond, which his parents had to cosign. He will also have to cosign.  

Hopkins' mother says her son has been angry about politics recently but was shocked when she saw the message.

She said he doesn't actually have a gun and there aren't any in the house.

She told 9NEWS she wants her son to write an apology to Woods and the community. He's also going to lose privileges at home.

She's planning to take the cable TV and internet access out of his room and replace his smartphone with a flip phone. 

His next court appearance will be on October 12. The court also issued an order forbidding Hopkins from contacting Woods.

Copyright 2016 Associated Press


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