A Twin Falls man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly threatening a Muslim woman shopping at the city’s Walmart and telling her he had a concealed weapon.

John C. Larsen, 42, was arraigned Thursday on a charge of felony malicious harassment in Twin Falls County 5th District Court.

According to police, Larsen allegedly approached the woman, who had a traditional Muslim head covering and dress and was accompanied by her two children, in the store at about 11 a.m. Wednesday and asked if she was Muslim.

When the woman said she was, Larsen reportedly told her he spent 2 1/2 years in Iraq and “my friends were killed by you, I was blown up by you,” according to court records.

Twin Falls police said there is no place for prejudice in the community.

“This behavior cannot be condoned,” Lt. Craig Stotts said in a statement. “In the United States of America, as long as people are obeying the laws, they are allowed to go about their lives without being threatened for their religious beliefs or their ethnicity.”

Witnesses interviewed by police said that they heard Larsen yell at the woman, use profanities and make several references to his concealed weapon, according to court records. Larsen also allegedly yelled that the woman “didn’t belong here in the U.S.,” according to the court affidavit.

After the woman told Larsen her father had died for his country, he then allegedly screamed at her, asking why she’s Muslim, according to the affidavit.

Larsen also allegedly told the woman he had killed lots of Muslims and planned to kill more, court records state. The woman, when interviewed by police, told the officer she was scared of the threats.

When a police officer arrived at the store, Larsen was found in his vehicle, where he told police he had a handgun in its center console. After receiving permission from Larsen, the officer removed a Bond Arms, model Snake Slayer, two-shot pistol that was loaded with two shotgun shells and in a leather holster, according to the affidavit.

Larsen told the officer he didn’t have the weapon on him when he was inside the store, police said.

Larsen was in the TwinFalls County Jail on Thursday, with his bond set at $10,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday this next week.

According to court records, he is unemployed.

Ben Botkin may be reached at bbotkin@magicvalley.com or 735-3238.

(19) comments

Ramsey
Ramsey

This story is sad all the way around. The man in question was either (most likely) mentally ill or seriously misinformed. Extremists overall, be they jihadists, wingnuts, or zealots, are dangerous.

LD
LD

This man is a real "prize" to society.HA! The article says he is unemployed.The judge needs to give him a job on a chain gang somewhere for a LONG, LONG time.

quatermass
quatermass

He was no doubt a Dumbocrat.

ernie
ernie

What is sad is people fail to understand why this man is upset to start with!! He defended this country and was shot and bombed by muslims, Did we forget 9/11 already? A country that we as Americans have to press (1) to hear our own language.Do you wonder why we have such an issue with illegals and immigrants to this country. Interest free loans,health care, social security,welfare food stamps the list goes on.It doesn't surprise me he is possibly unemployed, We take care of everyone but our own. The day is rapidly approaching that you will wish you had someone like this man to save your children's children from the real extremists that will one day take our country completely away from us!!!!!!! I for one say thank you to this man for having AGAIN the courage to Defend our country.

Ramsey
Ramsey

So let me get this straight, Ernie is defending this guys actions and Quatermass can deduce his party affiliation? What he did was wrong, plain and simple, veteran or not. And my guess would be, regardless of his party, he's very mentally ill.

LD
LD

I hesitated to even respond to Ernie's input, feeling my time may be spent trying to be rational with the unreasonable. However...here are some facts. The Muslim lady at Walmart was not in a war zone for John Larsen to "protect us" from. If John Larsen was "shot and bombed by Muslims" it should come as no surprise to him or anyone. It’s simple…gun fire is anticipated and quite often experienced in War. It is part of the "job".No one can be characterized by how they dress (whether it be a Muslim habit or leather motorcycle clothes). Patriotism, and being a Hater, represent two entirely different behaviors and causes. A Hater often turns into a frustrated terrorist, and are often jailed to protect society FROM…as John Larsen was. Haters have a tendency to step out of acceptable societal boundaries…as John Larsen did. Yes, this crippled country that has its problems at present, but it is better to make a difference with logical action, verses behavior that will put one in prison. The majority of all societies are NOT at all impressed with inmates of any kind. Fortunately for this country, its leaders and those in power, are not, and never will be misguided, quick to fire, disconnected, individuals as John Larsen and possibly his sympathizers.

smh
smh

It's understandable to be upset, but not to go around threatening women and children who are just trying to shop. Not that there is a way to deduce what political party he's affiliated with by this but if anything I would think he was a republican, they seem to be the ones that have struck fear into so many Americans on the subject of Muslims, and immigration. Yes their religion, when practiced by fundamentalist extremists, is a violent one. Does that mean that all muslims are this way? I don't believe so.

stoopud
stoopud

Soooooo...... what is going to happen with the Snake Slayer? Never even heard of that, but I might want to own one! Doble barrel pistol? Sounds like fun. Now that this idiot can't own one, can I just.... I don't know.... have it?

powerful
powerful

At this point we will NEVER hear of what she said to threaten Mr. Larsen. THAT part will be simply deleted. Our VETS dont run around "mentally ill" and simply harrasing people for no reason. She made her own insinuating remarks. And is now claiming to be "picked" on for being Muslim in a Christian country. A simple question was asked and she went on the defensive!!!!

powerful
powerful

I dont get WHY we go to other countries and fight for their freedoms and then turn around and bring them here....

thundarr
thundarr

So that we can call help join in fighting them, can someone tell me what a Muslim looks like? Do they have hidden horns, or possibly an extra ear growing somewhere?

DrThoth
DrThoth

It takes a real man to threaten a woman with a gun.
His father must be proud.
This man needs help for his displaced agression.

Preacherman
Preacherman

It seems to me that alot of people are jumping to conclusons after hearing only one side of the story and want to condemn a person even before he has a chance to speak in court, you all are talking aboutrights and what should happen to this man, so let me ask you what about INASENT UN TILL PROVEN GUILTY or does that part of this mans rights dont count becauce you don't like the ONE SIDED story you read

whathefun
whathefun

Presumed innocent? Read the article preacherman and then tell me what church your over so I can make sure to never go in. A man threatens a woman with her children present and I'm suppose to care about his innocence? The minimal crime here is disorderly conduct. His rant that is reported to be in the court record is enough to show his prejudice. She didn't kill his buddies, some of her cousins might have, but not her. Only a coward starts a fight with a woman and only a piece of trash offers her, her life.

Don Quixote
Don Quixote

It's sad that this incident happened, but it can happen anywhere. A lone wing nut can go off anywhere and any time.
The fact that so many of you are willing to defend him is a black mark on our community. It shows how ignorant you really are.
Justifying his crime requires prejudice. You excuse his actions because this woman is the same religion as someone you don't like. No indication she ever did anything to anyone. Her religion is enough for you bigots.
Then you show you know nothing about the world beyond the next dairy. Nowhere in the story does it say she's Middle Eastern or even an immigrant. Anyone anywhere can be a Muslim. For all we know, she's a blond from Minnesota or maybe an Indonesian or a Bosnian. I'm fairly certain no Bosnians attacked the US on 911.
That's on top of the fact that only a coward could defend threatening violence to a woman and her children simply because they're in a public place.
Yes, the wing nut is innocent (that's how it's spelled, preacherman) until proven guilty and he will get his day in court. Hopefully he will also get mental health treatment. I only pray that the rest of you will either learn from this ugly episode or at least stop polluting society with your hate.


Preacherman
Preacherman

I see now how easy you jump right up to shove your way of thinking at people, I dont know what you thought you read that said I think he was innocent I didn't say either way all I said is don't step on ANYBODYS rights no matter the crime. IOf this man is found guilty then let them give him all that is comming to him. As a Veteran of this country I put my life on the line to help ensurs EVERYONE in this country be given all there rights and protection no matter who they are even closed minded people like you or what GOD they except to believe in

Epicenter
Epicenter

My question to this esteemed group of experts is... what possible justification does ANY person have to verbally accost ANY other person in public for no other reason (allegedly) than their religion?
If you read your history at all, this intolerance is precisely why the American continent was settled in the first place. Your ancestors left Europe primarily because of religious persecution. They went further, inviting others in Europe who suffered the same problems over to American shores saying that this will be land of tolerance.
Americans are very proud of their rights. Right to free speech, right to bear arms, right to FREEDOM OF RELIGION, and freedom from persecution because of that religion. Regrettably, Americans aren't very keen on recognizing ALL of a person's rights, just the ones that apply to themselves, particularly if their interests differ from some minority's.
Sure, this guy was a veteran, and I thank him for his service. His veteran status, however, is not an excuse for blind, racist hatred. Just because you signed on the dotted line for Uncle Sam does not give you free reign to be an ***hole, regardless of whatever conflict we are engaged in.
It has happened for 15 years to Arab cultures, and before that another 30 to Vietnamese and Koreans, and before that another 20 to Japanese and Germans, and before that, and before that, and before that. Just because our country is involved in an armed conflict with members of a particular ethnicity or religion does NOT give ANYONE the right to exercise ignorant hatred of that entire race or religion.

smh
smh

[quote]powerful said: "At this point we will NEVER hear of what she said to threaten Mr. Larsen. THAT part will be simply deleted. Our VETS dont run around "mentally ill" and simply harrasing people for no reason. She made her own insinuating remarks. And is now claiming to be "picked" on for being Muslim in a Christian country. A simple question was asked and she went on the defensive!!!! "[/quote]

OH REALLY! SOLDIERS COULDN'T POSSIBLY BE MENTALLY ILL COULD THEY? No, powerful. The constant gore and violence. Watching your friends die. Knowing that you might never get to see your family again before your brains are blown to bits? NO! That wouldn't make a person go crazy or anything! Yep, that's why my grandfather got Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after fighting in the marines in WW II.
I really don't think that anyone should have to answer that question. She was shopping, minding her own buisness. She has a right to do that without this guy sticking his nose in her life and buisness. AND NO! This isn't a "christian community", powerful. This is an everyone who lives here community. And this woman does not have to answer to the likes of you or anyone else because of what religion she is. Just like you don't have to answer to anyone for being Christian.

LD
LD

Yes...Larsen is to be considered innocent until the preponderance of the evidence demonstrates otherwise. Yes, he certainly is utilizing HIS "rights" now. "Powerful", the evidence to date, indicates that, John Larsen did just walk up to the Muslim female (her children present),& unleash on her, in a very threatening, hateful, manner...to include threats to her life while mentioning his gun as his reenforcement.There were credible witnesses to this, that continue to stand behind what they seen/heard.You have stated, "At this point we will NEVER hear of what she said to threaten Mr. Larsen. THAT part will be simply deleted".....Are you on drugs or REALLY that naive??! Do you REALLY believe that the Police Dept, Walmart Mgmt, Shopper witnesses, & likely Big Brother technology, ALL conspired against John Larsen? NOT! and....Hello??.. This is not "a Christian country" as you stated, and pathetically believe. That way of thinking reeks with prejudice...bigotry...ethnocentrism...and all of the other ugly, destructive, belief patterns and systems this country battles AGAINST..READ YOUR US History,& about the rights this country offers to ALL. There is a simple right & benefit to have ANY religion one chooses. NOTHING is said, or remotely indicates ,that ALL MUST BE CHRISTIAN WHO LIVE IN THE USA. I imagine that is pretty jarring to you huh?
As far as Larsen having postpartum stress syndrome remains to be seen...and proved. In many cases I have seen this used as an alibi for a lesser sentence, or an aversion to escape a charge....just something I have observed many times for many years. I’m quite sure I am not alone in my thinking and experience.
I fell assured to think that if Larsen is found dangerously deranged/guilty of a Felony, the system will tighten up on him in and with his life, to say the least. His life will never be the same. No more owning a gun, or even packing a bullet, hanging with, or associated with other Felons, or people who have questionable peaceful mannerisms. No indulging in any chemicals(legal or otherwise) that could possibly alter rational thinking, no hanging around, or in places where sensible behavior will not be the norm,...the list and expectations will go on and on and on. Convicted Felons that disrupt this country, and generate Hate, lose nearly all of their rights...forever.
"Powerful" Do you think that is unfair too??

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