St. Francis police say they have cited a city councilman for filing a false police report after he mailed himself a fake grenade to curry sympathy from the public.
Police say 78-year-old LeRoy Theodore Schaffer called the St. Francis Police Department to report that he had received a suspicious package and wanted a law enforcement response on July 1. When officers arrived, Schaffer took them to his mailbox to inspect a package with a postmark from Chicago.
Schaffer told police the package had not yet been removed from the mailbox, but he thought it contained a bomb. Officers said that when asked why, he replied that he was in politics and “has lots of enemies.”
According to police, Schaffer then insisted that the officer open the box, but the officer refused. Then, police said Schaffer grabbed the package and opened it, showing the officer shredded paper and what appeared to be a hand grenade.
Police said Schaffer then proclaimed the grenade was “a dud” and showed a hole drilled in the bottom and a note that stated, “The next one will be real.”
The officer took the novelty grenade and packaging as evidence before requesting help from the ACSO’s Criminal Investigation Division and Crime Scene Unit. Responding detectives noted that the box had been addressed with a pre-printed address label with Schaffer’s address on it.
Schaffer allowed detectives to look inside his home, where they found a sheet of address labels from the Paralyzed Veterans of America with one label missing that was identical to the label on the package.
During interviews with detectives, Schaffer admitted that he had driven to Chicago and sent himself the package from a post office there, claiming, “There’s a lot of people out there that want to kill me. That’s why I sent it to myself.”
The misdemeanor citation was issued by the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, and Shaffer’s court date is set for Aug. 23.
Multiple reports indicate that Schaffer has since resigned from the St. Francis City Council.