Twin Cities man arrested for threatening Rochester police

(ABC 6 News) – An Edina man has been arrested and will be tried in Olmsted County Court for threatening Rochester police officers and their families.

According to investigators with the Sheriff’s Office of Olmsted County, 52-year-old Josef Makatewassi sent two officers multiple rambling emails alleging corruption in the police department, as well as mentioning Nazis, drug trade, and other crimes since early May.

Two of the officers had responded to multiple domestic assault and violation of order for protection calls related to Makatewassi in April.

On June 9, those emails turned threatening.

The sheriff’s office began investigating the threats on June 10, Capt. James Schueller said.

Emails from Makatewassi involved direct threats against the officers’ lives, their families, including photos of one officer’s daughter and a promise to traffic her.

Subsequent emails included more photos of the officers and family members, as well as home addresses Makatewassi allegedly researched.

Rochester police considered the threats credible and asked the sheriff’s office to investigate, to avoid a conflict of interest.

The sheriff’s office identified a rented room in Edina, where Makatewassi was staying, and coordinated with Edina police to arrest the suspect safely, while he was away from the building and other residents.

The emails continued until Makatewassi was taken into custody at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 12.

He has been transferred to the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center, and faces possible charges of felony threats of violence, felony stalking behavior, gross misdemeanor harassment, and gross misdemeanor defamation.