Man charged with threatening mayor posted online ‘declaration’

Man charged with threatening mayor posted online ‘declaration’

WOONSOCKET – The man arrested for threatening to harm Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt and other public officials two days before Christmas posted an online “declaration” detailing his plans earlier that day.

Michael Roy, 33, was arrested on Dec. 23 and charged with threatening a public official. He was arraigned in court this week and released on $10,000 personal recognizance.

Roy was arrested after allegedly making a phone call to Woonsocket police during which he made threats against Baldelli-Hunt and other city and state officials. Police say Roy claimed to have loaded weapons and threatened to walk a block from his home to the mayor’s house and order her out of the house.

Sgt. Justin Glode, a night platoon supervisor who is trained as a hostage negotiator, spent nearly two-and-a-half hours on the phone with Roy trying to de-escalate the situation. It was during this call, said Police Chief Thomas Oates, that police discovered the online statement.

“He mentioned amendments and that he was declaring that the state and local government had no authority over him and that he was going to go to a higher authority and go to the commander-in-chief,” Oates said.

The statement, posted to Roy’s personal Facebook page about two hours before the call, made a series of demands, including repayment for financial losses he blamed on the government. It named Baldelli-Hunt and Gov. Gina Raimondo and included a picture of Roy holding firearms.

Oates said during the conversation, the caller indicated he was prepared to stay in his home for some time.

“At the beginning of the conversation, he told us he had set up booby traps and was barricaded and had enough water to stay there for a long time,” he said.

Police sent officers to the mayor’s house as well as Roy’s residence. Roy eventually surrendered himself to police and was taken to a medical facility for a psychological evaluation.

Oates said a clinician with Community Care Alliance also assisted during the incident, listening to conversations between Roy and the negotiator and helping police take him into custody.

“Considering the circumstances, it couldn’t have worked out better,” he said. “No one was injured, our negotiators were able to do a great job in getting him to surrender himself.”

After entering the residence, police seized two assault rifles and a pistol along with a “substantial quantity” of ammunition. Oates said he believes the weapons were possessed legally, but police have since petitioned in Superior Court to hold the weapons under the state’s “Red Flag” law. Roy will have an opportunity to dispute the petition in court on Jan. 13.

Oates said Roy had no prior relationship with the mayor and no clear motive other than blaming the government for financial struggles.

As conditions of his release, Roy was given no-contact and no-trespassing orders and ordered to receive pretrial mental health services. Oates said the no-trespassing order will apply to City Hall in addition to the mayor’s residence.