Man held for threats of bombs, shootings against officials
Last updated 10/31/2023 at 7:48pm
Bond has been set at $150,000 for a 56-year-old man charged with terroristic threats against public officials. Barry Lee Bates, who lives in the Little Cypress area, was arrested Monday afternoon.
The threats came on Facebook social media with writings of bombs and shootings against people including the president of LSCO Orange, the Orange County Judge, a retired Jefferson County Judge, and a retired superintendent of the Little Cypress-Mauriceville school district.
Monday morning, extra law enforcement security was placed at several government and school district offices, along with some businesses, said Chief Deputy Mark Dubois with the Orange County Sheriff's Office in a press release.
Dubois said the sheriff's office on Sunday had several complaints about the posts on social media and began investigating. They were able to arrange security where needed.
By Monday afternoon, deputies had found enough evidence to get an arrest warrant for Bates. He was arrested after a traffic stop and taken to the Orange County Jail. As of Tuesday night, he was still in custody.
The Facebook postings being investigated "tagged" a writer with the Record Newspapers, which made them appear on her personal Facebook page.
The man has been sending private Facebook messages to the Record writer during the past months. The posts seem to depict him as upset and angry concerning the relationship between corporate industries and local governments, particularly about tax breaks given to industry.
The man appears to have once worked at an industrial plant and was laid off either in the late 1980s or into the 1990s. He has complained about local economics, low pay, and local hiring practices.
Many of the man's Facebook posts and messages have been rambling with bad spelling and poor grammar, making them unintelligible. Some wanted the writer to "investigate" local officials and industry.
The posts showing he was upset or angry increased a year ago when the official announcement was made of the $8.5 billion ChevronPhillips chemical plant. The messages increased and grew angrier after the Invista chemical plant on October 6 it would be closing next year.
The messages became more violent after the International Paper mill announced on October 18 it would close in December. Between the two plant closings 500 jobs or more will be lost.
A private message sent the afternoon of Friday, October 27, read "Every one in this town has had enough! I am killing birds this is my Uniform show me your bikini." Attached were phone screen shots made of Amazon sales items of men's torsos modeling G-strings, with one design featuring a three-dimensional parrot coming from the triangular area.
The screen shots ended with the words "My moter is warmed up wating on YA"