Police say they arrested the son of a defeated Laguna Beach City Council candidate for making criminal threats against public figures after he allegedly posted a photo of himself online hiding in brush with a rifle and in camouflage gear and warning he intended “to remove those tyrants from office.”
Police identified the person in the suspicious Craigslist posting as Michael James Ross, 33, of Laguna Beach, who police say was arrested Thursday, Jan. 5, for making criminal threats.
Court records show civil restraining orders against Michael Ross, prohibiting him from contacting or being in the vicinity of the elected officials or city manager. His posting was titled “Going to Laguna Beach city council with My Gillie suit,” police said in a statement Wednesday, Jan. 11, referring to a ghillie suit worn by hunters.
Despite the allegations, Michael Ross was released from county jail on Monday, Jan. 9, without having to post bail because the district attorney wants additional information, police Sgt. Tim Kleiser said. “The charges weren’t dismissed,” he added.
Robert Mason Ross, 79, was also arrested last week and remained in county jail facing a $250,000 bond. He was held on four felony charges over a felon possessing firearms, court records show. Public defender Stella Pogosyan could not be immediately reached for comment.
Ross earned 616 votes in the 2012 election, where he strongly criticized the record of city officials.
The charges against the elder Ross stem from the seizure in his house of a cache of weapons, which were
legally registered to his son, Kleiser said. Robert Ross, though, is prohibited from possessing weapons due to an earlier felony conviction in Los Angeles County, he said, declining to describe the nature of the earlier case.
As a result of a search warrant served last week at the Ross home on Treetop Lane, police said they seized six rifles, a semi-automatic handgun, and over 100 boxes of ammunition.
Police learned of the Craigslist posting through a Google alert seen by a City Hall employee, Kleiser said. According to the statement from police, the post also stated, “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.”
Ross’s son was not an active participant in his father’s 2012 campaign, but the elder Ross has kept up his critique of council members, making infrequent appearances during the public comment period during City Council meetings in recent years.