STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — A Steamboat Springs man who was apparently upset over mask mandates now faces multiple felonies for death threats.
David Caddell, 48, has been charged with attempting to influence a public servant and three counts of stalking. The charges are all connected to Tim Corrigan, the chairman of the Routt County Commission.
Detectives said Caddell has also sent numerous harassing emails and phone calls to local journalists, along with city and county officials.
The most serious threats appeared to be aimed at Corrigan.
“He talked about wondering how much I would like to have a .223 caliber bullet in my head,” Corrigan said.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by the Problem Solvers, Caddell sent Corrigan an email stating, “You messed with the wrong patriot, mutherf***er. Oh no. Disrespectful language! How about a 223 round through your forehead from a firing squad for the crime of treason?”
“He seemed from the very beginning to be very focused on the mask mandate,” said Corrigan, adding, “He would send us a series of links to supposed scientific links tied to studies proving that masks were not effective.”
Corrigan said he knew decisions by county commissioners to impose some COVID restrictions would be controversial but he did not anticipate death threats.
“Sometimes that criticism is really fierce but I expect that. That’s part of the job of being an elected official, but certainly this crossed a line, there’s no doubt about it,” Corrigan said.
Especially because Corrigan said Caddell left threatening messages not only on his phone, but on his wife’s phone and his daughter’s phone. He said he had no idea how Caddell tracked down his adult daughter who lives in Utah and has a different last name because she’s married.
According to the affidavit, the phone messages said, “Timothy Corrigan is a traitor against the people of the United States and will be executed for treason.”
“To me that was the most disturbing thing, that he had gone to that much effort to track down my daughter in particular,” said Corrigan.
Routt County Sheriff Garrett Wiggins wasn’t spared either. One of the emails he received said in all caps, “I WILL HARASS AND TERRORIZE YOU FOR AS LONG AS YOU CONTINUE YOUR TYRANNICAL, FACIST BEHAVIOR.”
Another email directed at Sheriff Wiggins stated, “IT’S SIMPLE – LIFT YOUR BOOT HEEL FROM MY NECK, AND I WILL WITHDRAW MY PISTOL.”
Wiggins told FOX31 he chose not to press charges because, “Mr. Caddell’s choice of words when directing his anger to me was not perceived as a personal threat that he intended to inflict or had ability to harm to me.”
Wiggins added that he had several phone calls with Caddell, telling the Problem Solvers in an email, “I explained to him that some of his recipients took his messages as threatening and that his choice of words might be better if he toned the vulgar harshness of his allegations. He told me personally that he did not wish any physical harm to anyone, but if he was ignored he would make lives miserable through his First Amendment Rights.
He felt he was being ignored by his elected officials since no one would respond to him. He believed since he had a difference of opinion, that harsh wording would draw attention to his concerns and he would be taken more serious.”
At a court hearing Tuesday afternoon, the public defender asked Routt County Judge James Garrecht to lower Caddell’s $10,000 bond to $500 or even a personal recognizance bond, where he wouldn’t have to pose money saying he has no criminal history.
The prosecutor objected, saying in her opinion the bond was, “if anything, too low.” The judge agreed to keep Caddell’s bond at $10,000 and set his preliminary hearing for April 30.
Detectives originally tried to arrest Caddell on March 6 at his home in Steamboat Springs but learned he had moved to South Dakota. He was arrested by police in Brookings, S.D., last week and extradited back to Routt County on April 7.