ALBION, Mich. (Battle Creek Enquirer)-- A 33-year-old Albion man, Chad Baase, faces up to life in prison on terrorism charges after investigators said he threatened to contaminate the water supply and kill judges.
Baase was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on charges of making a false report or threat of terrorism and using a computer to commit a crime.
If convicted of the charges he faces up to life in prison.
Baase was arrested about 4 p.m. Tuesday by Calhoun County Sheriff Department deputies. He admitted making threats but told deputies he was angry about a child custody case and did not intent to follow through with the threats, according to Lt. Aaron Wiersma,
Calhoun County Commissioner Steve Frisbie said he saw the threats in a message from Baase to Frisbie's county commissioner Facebook page.
"He is a friend on my commissioner page and he posted some crazy stuff in a private message," Frisbie said Wednesday.
Frisbie said Baase threatened to contaminate the water supply and said he had been painting water towers this summer.
He sent Frisbie a picture taken high above the ground from a water tower. Investigators said the picture could have been taken at the water tower in Urbandale.
After seeing the first message about 11 p.m. Monday, Frisbie said he wrote back.
"Tell me you are just kidding," Frisbie said he wrote. "But he kept going."
Frisbie said the messages indicated Baase was angry about a custody case and he was going to get some revenge.
"He said in his message that he painted three water towers this summer and had access to them. Twice I gave him the opportunity to stop, but he kept going."
Frisbie said threats he read also were directed at county judges, their families and court staff. Courthouse employees were notified Tuesday by email about the threat.
"He said, 'I am going to hurt people. I am going to kill people," Frisbie said.
Frisbie said he believes Baase also sent messages to county board Chairman Art Kale, who forwarded them to Sheriff Matt Saxton.
Frisbie said he showed the messages to a deputy about midnight and deputies said Baase was located and arrested that afternoon.
Baase was ordered held on $50,000 bail and must post a 10 percent bond, or $5,000 before he can be released from jail. His next court appearance is Tuesday.
"He thought we had the power to remove the judges and (court) referees and other court officials, but we don't," Frisbie said. "He posted odd stuff and said he was at his wits' end. You get at that point and people are not thinking right, but you can't ignore it."