CALEDONIA — A former La Crescent city council member is facing four felony charges after he allegedly made a series of threats in August, including that he was "was going to come and shoot a member of the Houston County Attorney’s Office and blow up the courthouse," according to the Houston County Sheriff's Office.
Brian Joseph Krenz, 36, made his first appearance Tuesday in Houston County District Court in four cases. Judge Christopher Neisen ordered that Krenz be held on $250,000 unconditional bail and $100,000 conditional bail.
A television station in La Crosse, Wis., reported that Krenz served on the La Crescent City Council from 2014 to October 2019, when he was removed after missing 10 consecutive meetings.
The charges stem from incidents including one on Aug. 5, when a Houston County court administration employee reported receiving a call from an agitated man threatening to shoot an employee and blow up the courthouse, Sheriff Mark Inglett wrote in a news release.
Two businesses in Caledonia also received threatening phone calls, and a threatening voicemail was left with another county office.
Members of the sheriff's office were able to identify a suspect shortly after the initial threat. The Sheriff's Office identified the man as Krenz and said he was arrested in California. Court records indicate complaint warrants were filed on Aug. 9, 11, 12 and 18.
In one case, Krenz is charged with a felony for making violent threats and a gross misdemeanor charge for harassment.
In that case, Krenz is alleged to have left a message on Aug. 5 for a county employee, saying "Did you know that it is incredibly easy to sneak into a building such as yours with a weapon, and very, very patiently wait for your next victim to step outside their office, and then you just strangle them without anybody noticing?
"It is one of the most exhilarating experiences a human being can have, taking the life of a state employee, county employee, especially when they know how corrupt that county is," the complaint states.
In the message, Krenz also said he'd already shot the sheriff — he hadn't — and told the person they were an easier target and encouraged them to "bring a rape whistle with you," the complaint reads.
In the second case, Krenz is charged with threats of violence-explosives/incendiary device. In that case, he is alleged to have called the Houston County Criminal Justice Center building on Aug. 5 and threatened to blow up the courthouse. The threat led to an hourlong lockdown of the Houston County campus.
In the third case, Krenz is charged with making violent threats and gross misdemeanor harassment. He is alleged to have called a Caledonia business on Aug. 5 and threatened to come to the office and shoot people.
In the fourth, Krenz is charged with threats of violence-reckless disregard and gross misdemeanor harassment. He is alleged to have made threatening calls and left voicemails on Aug. 12, identifying himself as a former La Crescent city council member and saying he would leave "La Crescent and Houston County in ruins," the complaint states.
Court records indicate that Krenz was cited on Aug. 17 for disorderly conduct. He pleaded not guilty to that charge on Tuesday, Sept. 14.
Krenz had been charged in 2019 with felony terroristic threats in April 2019 Houston County for two incidents involving the Houston County Jail. Court records indicate that the entire case was dismissed Monday by the Houston County Sheriff's Office. The felony charge was dismissed by prosecutors in December 2020.