Man denies threats to coffee company workers
BARRE — The Swanton man accused of threatening to “shoot everybody” at a Green Mountain Coffee Roasters facility in Waterbury pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Alexander J. Garrison, 41, is facing a felony charge of creating a false alarm. If convicted, he faces a maximum of five years in jail and a $10,000 fine. The charge is normally a misdemeanor, but since it would be Garrison’s second offense, the charge is elevated to a felony.
According to the police affidavit, Waterbury police were contacted by employees at a call center for the coffee company saying a man had threatened to go to their location and shoot people. The center is directly behind the police station, on Foundry Street.
Police said Garrison called the center and told a receptionist he was upset he was not given a job and then made the threats. Police said they tracked the phone number that was used back to Garrison and called him. He told them he hadn’t made any threats because he knew better from getting in trouble for something similar in the past, police said. Garrison told police he had called looking for directions to the company’s outlet store.
Police said Garrison had been working as a temporary employee at the company’s plant in Essex at the time of the incident in December. The call resulted in the company going into lockdown, and heightened security remained in effect five days later. The company also temporarily closed an outlet store and a visitor center in Waterbury. WCAX-TV reported that the threat was considered elevated because the outgoing CEO of the company, Larry Blanford, and his replacement, Brian Kelley, were in Waterbury at the time of the call.
Garrison was convicted of making a false alarm in 2007, when police say he made a bomb threat against a different company he was working for in Windsor County.
A search of Garrison’s residence in December turned up an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, a .22-caliber long rifle and a hunting rifle, police said, but no weapons were found on him when he was taken into custody.
The police affidavit says that on the day of the incident Garrison called the company five times. One of the phone calls came after police had initially called him and he wanted to complain about the company having “no right to give out my personal information,” police said. The final time Garrison called he asked for an employee by name and wanted to know her schedule, police said.
Garrison was taken into custody by the Department of Corrections the day of the calls to resume serving a sentence for a felony embezzlement charge from 2009.
He also has four convictions for credit card fraud in 2011. He is being held on $5,000 bail.
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