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Idaho: Ex-Vet Threatens Muslim Woman

This should be treated as a hate crime.

Hearing continued for Twin Falls man charged with harassment

A preliminary hearing for a Twin Falls man charged with malicious harassment was postponed Thursday in order to allow the defendant time to find an attorney.

John Christopher Larsen, 42, appeared as his own defense in Twin Falls County 5th District Court to request time to find a lawyer, claiming he was denied a public defender.

Larsen was charged with felony harassment on Dec. 23 after he allegedly threatened a Muslim woman at the Twin Falls Walmart on Dec. 22. Witnesses told police that they heard Larsen yelling at the woman, saying Muslims didn’t belong in the U.S., and threatening her with a gun he said he was carrying under his shirt.

Larsen said Thursday he admitted himself into a psychiatric ward for three days following the incident, which had limited his time to find an attorney. Larsen said he had also requested his military records that would show he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq.

Magistrate Judge Thomas Kershaw granted a continuance and reminded Larsen that he was under a “no contact” order, meaning he is not to contact the alleged victim, who was in attendance Thursday in court along with other witnesses.

Kershaw instructed Larsen to keep Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs informed on his progress in finding a lawyer because Kershaw didn’t want witnesses to show up again only to have the hearing postponed again.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled soon after a person is charged in order to determine whether sufficient evidence exists to warrant a felony conviction. Continuances are often requested by attorneys to allow them to gather more information prior to a hearing.

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  • I agree entirely Lilly, I myself know many veterans with terrible stories to tell and it is so sad that governments sweep them away when the cease to be useful to them. But then again, like you say, as soon as something like this pops up they just say ‘oh, PTSD, don’t worry, we’ll pump him/her full of drugs and he/she will be fine’ and that is the end of that, they become another statistic, one who went to far and made some headlines. No one in the government helps these people enough.

  • Lilly

    As a person who works with Veterans on a daily basis I can say this… Downplay is an UNDERSTATEMENT! MANY Vets who have PTSD are swept under the rug and wind up in very sad situations. In some cases the PTSD is FULLY ignored to the point this kind of incident happens.

  • AJ

    Bill the court fees and attorney fees to hate mongers like Pamela who cause this Islamophobia.

  • mindy1

    @Syed, that is very compassionate of you-our vets coming back will need help, and I hope we can give it to them. They are mostly good people, but they will need help

  • Syed

    @What – I am not denying that being threatened must have been a terrifying experience for the woman or that there is an Islamophobic color to this incident. I am just saying that the vet admitted that he has mental problems that escalated to him threatening the lady – thats brave of him to do it. Compare that to the average Islamophobes (who do not admit and even fail to realize the nature of their illness).
    I saw a documentary where it showed that the army was downplaying the vets PTSD symptoms to reduce costs. Maybe this man felt that the only way he could get the help he needed was by forcing the hand of the law. I hope this guy gets the treatment he clearly needs.

  • Farlowe

    War does strange things to people. I had a plumber who was a vietnam vet. He would talk to invisible soldiers and act occasionally let out a yell while fixing my bathroom. He warned me before he started his work that he may “scare me”. But he could do his job OK. Maybe this guy has a similar problem.

  • What

    Syed, read what Lilly said. And the “typical” Islamophobes just use bigoted, hateful words…just words not attempted violence like this heroic veteran.

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  • Syed

    I don’t know folks! At least this guy recognized that he had a problem and checked himself into treatment. Its completeley different from the level of hatred, paranoia and denial that is exhibited by the typical Islamophobes.

  • What

    I hope this is not what awaits more Muslims in the future. But to the Islamophobes…there is no Islamophobia.

    And as for being treated as a hate crime, I think crimes should just be treated as crimes. Hate crime laws are unconstitutional in my opinion.

  • Lilly

    PTSD = Legal Loophole to kill (veterans only). At least.. that was what was explained to me when I started my job.

  • mindy1

    IF he has PTSD, he should get treated, but if not, he should be thrown in jail. It’s not an excuse, but I heard it can make you nuts 🙁

  • Mosizzle

    “This should be treated as a hate crime.”

    JihadBob is probably going to complain about LoonWatch reporting things as hate crimes because they “want and need” hate crimes so it is better that you don’t classify things as hate crimes until it is clear.

    Obviously, it seems like a hate crime but perhaps the court might not see it that way. Loonwatch should report it as a ‘possible hate crime’ to avoid having Islamophobes complaining.

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