Son and Father Held in Probe of Online Laguna Beach City Council Threats
Robert Mason Ross (left) and his son Michael James Ross
Laguna Beach Police Department
UPDATE, JAN. 12, 10:53 A.M.: Robert Ross pleaded not guilty to the counts against him on Jan. 6. An unsuccessful candidate for the Laguna Beach City Council in 2012, Ross has a reputation around town as a gadfly who routinely blasts city leaders on all sorts of topics at public meetings. But Ross is reportedly down with Laguna Beach police, having expressed support for increases to cop salaries, pensions and benefits during a Sept. 13 City Council budget hearing, the Orange County Register reports.
ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 11, 10:57 A.M.: A father and son have been arrested as a result of a craigslist ad that allegedly threatened the Laguna Beach City Council.
Michael James Ross, the 33-year-old who was identified as the suspect who placed the online advertisement, was arrested Monday on suspicion of making criminal threats and threatening public officials.
After serving a search warrant at Ross’ home in the 21500 block of Tree Top Lane, members of the Laguna Beach Police Department and Orange County sheriff’s SWAT team reportedly found six rifles, a semiautomatic handgun and more than 100 boxes of ammunition.
The discovery led to the arrest of Robert Mason Ross, a longtime Laguna Beach resident and Michael’s 75-year-old father, for allegedly being a convicted felon is possession of firearms.
The ad that led city employees to contact police was posted earlier this month and titled, “Going to Laguna Beach city council with My Gillie suit.” A ghillie suit is camouflage clothing used for hunting and Duck Dynasty wardrobe.
Besides five different photos of a man in camouflage with an automatic rifle hiding in the brush, the ad included the words: “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. 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, you are going down now."
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City Council members obtained restraining orders against the Rosses, who are now forbidden from getting near City Hall and the politicians. Still, in deference to safety, two uniformed police officers attend Wednesday night’s council meeting.
The father and son were being held in lieu of $250,000 bail each, although Michael Ross at least had bailed out as of press time.
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