Man arrested for allegedly threatening Virginia House Speaker

Taken into custody without incident, authorities say

February 21, 2020 - 1:00 pm

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(RICHMOND, Va. - - Authorities say they've arrested a man who allegedly threatened Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn.

Virginia Capitol Police spokesman Joe Macenka says 23-year-old Stephen Hartzell was taken into custody Thursday in Norfolk without incident.

Police say they investigated Hartzell after he reportedly posted something on Filler-Corn's Facebook page. Macenka says the threat was very explicit and that Hartzell is charged with one count of threatening to burn or bomb, a felony which could mean up to 10 years in prison.

According to the Associated Press, several democratic lawmakers say they've been threatened this year by people upset over proposed new gun laws. A new democratic majority in the Virginia General Assembly is in the final steps of passing a series of new gun restrictions.

Macenka did not comment on specific investigations or reports of threats other than Filler-Corn's, but says if a member of the General Assembly believes they or a member of their family or staff is being threatened, they should contact police.