Police investigate online threat against Vt. Statehouse

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) State and federal authorities are investigating an online threat against the Vermont Statehouse.

Capitol Police Chief Matthew Romei says a person named Dana Rushford left a comment on Facebook asking, "Who's ready for an armed takeover of the Statehouse?"

Capitol police worked with Montpelier police, the Vermont State Police and the FBI to investigate. Romei says investigators reached out to Rushford and it does not appear the threat could be carried out.

But Romei says police respond to any threat and criminal charges could result from this case.

"We do take every threat against the facility or the General Assembly very seriously and we work on a daily basis to make sure we balance the needs of the safety and security of the facility against the 1st Amendment rights and constitutional rights. This is the people's house and we want to keep it that way," Romei said. "I don't believe that we've heard the words 'armed takeover of the Statehouse' before on social media, at least not here. So, that was extremely concerning to us."

Romei says the Capitol Police can increase security in moments with assistance from other agencies.