Phone Threat Leads To Interstate “Terror” Charge


An Ohio man, fed up with deceptive junk mail, lost his temper while on the phone with a St. Louis company pitching an extended auto-service contract. Now he finds himself behind bars, charged with making a terrorist threat, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Charles Papenfus, 43, allegedly told a sales representative that he would burn down the building and kill employees and their families. He was indicted for making a terrorist threat, a felony with a maximum 4-year sentence.

Papenfus’ wife, Tracie, hasn’t seen her husband since his arrest on June 27, when he was lured to a Fostoria, Ohio, police station with a false story about being suspected in a tavern fight there. Charles Papenfus, a self-employed mechanic who sometimes works on police cruisers, dropped by the station to clear his name, she said. Tracie Papenfus said she still can’t understand why her husband is held 450 miles from home at the St. Louis workhouse on a $45,000 bond she can’t afford to pay. “He shouldn’t have mouthed off on the phone, but this is overkill,” she said. “They make it sound like he’s a terrorist, and he’s far from it.”

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