COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Police have cited a man for making a threatening telephone call to the home of former GOP attorney general candidate Sean Reyes.
Jared Joseph Newman, 32, of Perry was cited by the Cottonwood Heights Police Department for "threats of violence," a class B misdemeanor, for the June 21 call answered by Reyes' 14-year-old son.
According to the police report, the caller asked Reyes' son if he was running for attorney general. Told that he wasn't, the report said the caller yelled, "I'm going to find you (expletive) Mexicans and knock your teeth out," and "white power" before hanging up.
Reyes, who lost his bid to become the Republican nominee for attorney general in Tuesday's primary, described the call as disturbing. He was not at home the evening of the call.
"This is my 14-year-old son, but I was also very worried because we have five younger kids in the household and this person sounded like he would be serious about following up on these types of threats," Reyes said. "To have someone threaten not just me but the kids and my wife, it's a scary thing."
He called it "alarming that those types of bigoted feelings and abuse still exist out there," but said the call was not representative of how he was treated on the campaign trail. "Race has not been an issue whatsoever," Reyes said.
Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Mark Askerlund said the caller "simply chose to vent on the Reyes family because he didn't like receiving those automated solicitation calls" from campaigns.
Askerlund said the incident didn't rise to a hate crime despite the reference to the family's ethnicity in the call. "I don't know that that made it more serious. The threat to do harm is the threat to do harm regardless of your stature or your ethnicity," he said.
Reyes said he did not believe in hate crimes but "clearly this person felt threatened by a certain group of people in this state" and felt the need to express that by making a threat.
The police report said the caller told authorities he "might have gotten out of hand" but was frustrated over a Reyes campaign call made to his home during dinner. The caller also said he made no attempts to harm anyone, according to the report.
Attempts to contact Newman were unsuccessful.
Contributing: Richard Piatt