Woman charged with harassment
Accused of threatening the State Center police chief through a social media video
STATE CENTER — A Marshall County woman has been arrested after she made a threatening statement about a State Center police officer, suggesting that he should be shot.
On Tuesday, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, in consultation with the Marshall County Attorney’s Office, arrested Gabrielle Ann Harrings, 21, of St. Anthony, charging her with first-degree harassment.
The charge against Harrings was filed this week following a traffic stop last Thursday night in which she broadcast live on Facebook via her cell phone the entire incident with State Center Police Chief Jeff Bunn.
In the video, Bunn is shown speaking with Harrings, who was a passenger in the vehicle, driven by a friend. Harrings, her friend and two others in the vehicle, were towing a small trailer, moving items from State Center to Harrings’ mother’s residence in St. Anthony.
Throughout the video, Harrings is heard making derogatory statements about Bunn, who pulled over the vehicle because the plate registration had expired and the taillights on the trailer were not working properly.
Neither the driver of the vehicle, or Harrings, who cannot drive because of a suspended driver’s license, were cited by Bunn during the stop. Instead of impounding the vehicle or writing any citations, Bunn agreed to follow their vehicle from State Center to St. Anthony making sure they were safe on the road.
After Harrings and her colleagues arrived to their destination, Bunn departed. At that point however, Harrings exclaimed, “Bunn needs to be shot in the back of the head like Abraham Lincoln,” followed by laughter.
Bunn said he was unaware of the video and what was said until later that night and early the next morning when others shared with him the video that Harrings had posted on her Facebook page.
Many of those who viewed the video questioned Harrings on Facebook, critical of her comments.
But Harrings, who subsequently removed the video, replied “I’m grown as f*** and have my own Facebook and random m*********** need to know the whole story before they feel the need to run there (sic) mouth and third, F*** THE POLICE PERIOD!!!!!!”
Marshall County Sheriff Steve Hoffman said the entire incident was difficult to comprehend.
“It’s troubling from the perspective that (Harrings) failed to recognized the degree of discretion and compassion that Chief Bunn utilized in their encounter in not impounding the vehicle, but also following them to their destination to make sure they arrived safely,” he said. “And then to find the whole incident broadcast live … It’s a sad commentary about the cruelty exhibited as she wished for his assassination. It’s disheartening.”
As for Bunn, who did not file the complaint against Harrings, the incident serves as a reminder that police officers are threatened every day in the country, and in some cases, targeted by those who wish to do harm to the men and women in uniform.
In an interview with the Times-Republican, Bunn said he and his fellow brothers and sisters in blue have been on heightened alert the last several years, aware that it seems, as though daily, there is a report that somewhere in the United States, peace officers are being killed while in the line of duty.
Thursday’s incident, he said “did bother me, I won’t lie. But more so for my wife and kids who are scared for me and that’s a lot of stress on them worrying if I’m going to come home.”
After her arrest, Harrings was taken to the Marshall County Jail, where she later posted bond.
There was no indication when her next court appearance will be scheduled.
Contact Jeff Hutton at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org