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TMCNet:  Man arrested for allegedly sending email threats to legislative candidate

[August 09, 2012]

Man arrested for allegedly sending email threats to legislative candidate

Aug 09, 2012 (The Columbian - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A Vancouver man has been arrested on suspicion of sending threatening emails to a legislative candidate.

Gary Owen, 50, was taken into custody Thursday morning on suspicion of two counts of malicious harassment, a Class C felony.

He allegedly sent two graphic, threatening emails to Eileen Qutub, a candidate for the 49th District, which covers western Vancouver.

Qutub said that after receiving the emails, which she described as "vile" and "sexually perverted," she alerted the Clark County Sheriff's Office last week.

"I know you receive phone calls and emails from people and they're exercising their free speech," Qutub said. "This individual wrote the most vile, threatening email ... It was not political speech." Owen allegedly sent the first email July 21 after he was upset that he received a campaign mailer, according to a sheriff's office news release.

"I do not know how you got my name and address but I would rather put a bullet in your stupid pathetic Republican (expletive) brain than vote for you," the email said. "Being a Republican and a woman you have no right ever speaking or having an opinion about anything." On Aug. 4, Qutub received a second email. Owen was angry because he had received a second campaign mailer.

"I will hunt you down and shove your spam junk mail flier up your (expletive) with a hot poker!," the email said.

Signing off the email, Owen said he wasn't "afraid of putting my info out there" and gave his full name and address.

Qutub said Owen had registered to vote in May, so he was part of her list of constituents to receive mailers.

After Qutub gave the information to sheriff's deputies, they contacted Owen, who admitted to sending the emails, according to the news release.

Clark County sheriff's Sgt. Shane Garder said deputies also referred the possibility of additional charges of cyberstalking against Owen.

Owen, who has no listed criminal history, is expected to make his first court appearance Friday.

Qutub is running against Annette Cleveland for the position vacated by Craig Pridemore.

Laura McVicker: www.twitter.com/col_courts; www.facebook.com/reportermcvicker; laura.mcvicker@columbian.com; 360-735-4516.

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___ (c)2012 The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.) Visit The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.) at www.columbian.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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