LAGUNA BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Two Laguna Beach men face weapons and criminal threats charges after police were alerted by City Hall employees about a threatening Craigslist posting.
Detectives last Wednesday say they were alerted to the posting, which contained five photos of a man with an automatic rifle hiding in brush while wearing camouflage clothing known as a Ghillie suit.
The posting, titled “Going To Laguna Beach city council with My Gillie (sic) suit,” said, “I am warning the city council that I am going to show up with my gillie suit to remove these tyrants from office, in 2017.” It also said, “Call the police and the city, council and tell them I am coming to end this corruption, from the Laguna Beach City Council, once and for all. Hahahahahaha (sic), you are going down now.”
Michael James Ross, 33, was identified as the suspect and was arrested the next day. Investigators and a SWAT team searching his home in the 21500 block of Tree Top Lane found six rifles, a semi-automatic handgun and more than 100 boxes of ammunition, police said.
Ross told CBS2’s Michele Gile it was all a misunderstanding.
“‘I’m peaceful,” Michael Ross said. “It was a publicity stunt more for my music video. I think they took it the wrong way. It was no harm to anybody.”
His father, Robert Mason Ross, 75, was arrested for being a convicted felon in possession of firearms. He was a frequent speaker at council meetings and ran unsuccessfully for a council seat in 2012, according to the OC Register.
The Craiglist post was no joke to council members.
“I was mainly concerned for the council and myself and my wife,” Laguna Beach Mayor Pro Tem Kelly Boyd said.
The father and son were initially held on $20,000 bail, but it was later increased to $250,000.
Restraining orders were issued against Michael and Robert Ross, prohibiting them from contacting or being in the vicinity of all five city council members and the city manager.
Michael Ross said he’s a blogger and an investigator fighting corruption.
“I didn’t think it was going to be that big of a deal to be honest,” Michael Ross said. “I really do apologize if I startled anybody.”