Retired police captain charged with harassment - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Retired police captain charged with harassment

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

A retired Dubuque police captain faces four counts of third-degree harassment for threatening letters he allegedly sent to two local businesses, according to court documents.

Police say 77-year-old Gerald Sjobakken, who served in the Dubuque Police Department for more than 30 years, sent postcards two both businesses that could be considered threatening.

Court documents show that police have been dealing with these letters for many years.  Some, they say, include insults or profanity, and many are critical of local government leaders.

The Telegraph Herald is no stranger to these letters--stating in an article earlier this year that they've been receiving these letters for years.

But police say it was three letters written over the summer that crossed the line, and warranted charges.

The first, according to court documents, was a letter written in June that suggested three of the Telegraph Herald's editors "take a drunken high speed car ride through a sharp curve into an abutment."

Then in July, court documents show, Sjobakken wrote that it was sad that Micah Johnson, the man who shot and killed several police in Dallas, didn't visit the newspaper and "wipe out the entire editorial board in short order before wearing out the Dallas PD."

Finally, just two weeks later, Sjobakken wrote an obscene filled letter about the Telegraph Herald's executive editor, according to court documents.

Police say they interviewed Sjobakken about the letters on July 15, and that he did indeed admit to writing them as it is his first amendment right, court documents show.

According to those documents, Sjobakken insisted he didn't make any threats, just suggestions.

Sjobakken wouldn't go on camera for KWWL, but did tell us the same thing.

Sjobakken made his initial court appearance Tuesday morning and was released on a $2,000 bond. He's not allowed to contact the Telegraph Herald or Rhomberg's Fur and Leather Gallery, according to court documents.

He's back in court Sept. 6.

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