Anchorage man arrested in New York over threats against APD
An Anchorage man was arrested in New York City by federal agents, after he allegedly made online threats against an APD officer and a local business.
U.S. Attorney for Alaska Bryan Schroder’s office announced that the FBI took Tyler Bateman, 27, into custody early Friday on two counts of making threatening statements against the officer, as well as an Anchorage business.
Bateman allegedly threatened to shoot and poison an APD officer and “several other people,” as well as shoot and bomb the business, according to Friday’s statement.
A criminal complaint against Bateman, written by FBI Special Agent Bradley Hentschel, said the threatened officer had served a protective order on Bateman on Dec. 6. Afterward, Bateman used online searches to find the officer’s home address and that of the officer’s spouse.
“Bateman sent a private message to [the officer’s] spouse, stating he knew where [the officer] and the spouse lived,” Hentschel wrote.
When police spoke with Bateman in person, he admitted that he had sent the message, as well as “taking similar action to contact a State of Alaska court system magistrate judge.” Police told Bateman that his actions were seen as a threat against the officer and the officer’s family, and that “the threats would not be tolerated.”
On Monday, Bateman allegedly texted a witness threats against Fasteners & Fire Equipment Inc. on East International Airport Road, a business owned by his grandfather where he once worked.
“You think you can lock me up in a looney bin or whatever,” Bateman allegedly wrote, using the account name TYLERB8MAN. “If I decide to walk into Fasteners with an AR15.. You won’t ever stop me.”
According to Hentschel, Bateman elaborated on the threat in subsequent messages.
“Pipe bombs. Gas grenades. Flash bangs. All that,” Bateman wrote. “You think it’s just talk.”
Later that day, investigators said Bateman sent private messages to APD’s Facebook page in which he claimed that “I’m going to kill [an Eagle River traffic officer] and several other people.” Bateman then added a series of other threats, including “I am going to poison them with ricin,” “And I am going to walk into a building with an AR15,” “I am going to hurt a lot of people,” “I am going to hurt a lot of dirty cops and their families,” and “You won’t stop me.”
The profile photo for the account matched a state Department of Public Safety photo of Bateman, Hentschel said.
FBI agents found a TYLERB8MAN account on dating site Plenty of Fish, in which he asked for help making a trip from “AK to NYC one way.” A Tuesday track on Bateman’s cellphone indicated that its cellular service had been disconnected, but its Internet service was still online; its data indicated that Bateman was in New York City.
APD Chief Justin Doll alluded to the threats during a Friday discussion of crime with Mayor Ethan Berkowitz broadcast on Facebook Live, saying about six minutes before its end that they were akin to those allegedly made by Parkland, Fla. mass-shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz prior to his arrest.
"In fact, just last week or maybe it was earlier this week, we had someone that made some significant threats on social media, and they were sort of similar in nature to what the suspect in Florida did,” Doll said. “We immediately responded to that: we worked with the FBI, the local special agent in charge Marlin Ritzman and all of his agents at the Anchorage Field Division, and we were able to track that person across the country and the FBI ultimately made an arrest – so that was a team effort."
It wasn’t immediately clear when Bateman might be extradited to Alaska in connection with the charges.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.