Vancouver man arrested for allegedly sending threats to legislative candidate

Senate hopeful Qutub received graphic emails

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

Published:

Updated: August 9, 2012, 7:24 PM

 

A Vancouver man has been arrested on suspicion of sending threatening emails to a legislative candidate.

Gary K. Owen, 50, was taken into custody Thursday morning on suspicion of two counts of malicious harassment, a Class C felony.

He allegedly sent two graphic, threatening emails to Eileen Qutub, a Republican candidate for Senate in the 49th District, which covers western Vancouver.

Qutub said that after receiving the emails, which she described as “vile” and “sexually perverted,” she alerted the Clark County Sheriff’s Office last week.

“I know you receive phone calls and emails from people and they’re exercising their free speech,” Qutub said. “This individual wrote the most vile, threatening email … It was not political speech.”

Owen allegedly sent the first email July 21 after he was upset that he received a campaign mailer, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

“I do not know how you got my name and address but I would rather put a bullet in your stupid pathetic Republican (expletive) brain than vote for you,” the email said. “Being a Republican and a woman you have no right ever speaking or having an opinion about anything.”

On Aug. 4, Qutub received a second email. Owen apparently was angry because he had received a second campaign mailer.

“I will hunt you down and shove your spam junk mail flier (explicit description) with a hot poker!” the email read.

Signing off the email, the author said he wasn’t “afraid of putting my info out there” and gave Owen’s full name and address.

Qutub said Owen had registered to vote in May, so he was included in her list of voters to receive mailers.

“This is very unkind, to say the least,” Qutub said.

After Qutub gave the information to sheriff’s deputies, they contacted Owen, who admitted to sending the emails, according to the news release.

Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Shane Gardner said deputies also referred to prosecutors the possibility of additional charges of cyber-stalking against Owen.

Owen, who has no listed criminal history, is expected to make his first appearance in Clark County Superior Court today.

Qutub is running against Democrat Annette Cleveland for the position vacated by Craig Pridemore, who ran unsuccessfully for state auditor.

Laura McVicker: www.twitter.com/col_courts; www.facebook.com/reportermcvicker; laura.mcvicker@columbian.com; 360-735-4516.