PARIS — A Mexico man who threatened to “put a bullet” in the Oxford County sheriff’s head was being held on $1,000 cash bail Friday at the county jail.
Maine State Police charged Joseph Salatka, 56, on Thursday with terrorizing. Trooper Adam Fillebrown arrested Salatka walking along Roxbury Road in Rumford, near his home.
According to an affidavit written by Fillebrown, a staffer at the State Fire Marshal’s Office in Augusta received a phone call Thursday morning from a man who threatened the life of Sheriff James Theriault.
Gov. Paul LePage appointed Theriault earlier in the week to fill the vacancy left by Wayne Gallant who resigned in December amid a sexual misconduct scandal.
The staffer wrote in a witness statement that Salatka commented on Theriault’s “poor moral character” and “questioned how (the governor) could appoint this person as sheriff.”
He then asked the staff member for a phone number for the governor’s office.
The staffer said that before she could provide him with a number, “he said that if he couldn’t find a number (for the governor) and nothing gets done about it, he would have to ‘put a bullet in (the sheriff’s) head.’”
Fire Marshals notified state police. Theriault also was notified. Troopers tracked the call to Salatka because his phone number appeared on the Fire Marshal’s caller ID.
Police said Salatka had an air pistol when he was taken into custody, along with a police scanner tuned to the Oxford County channel, a pocket knife and a marijuana pipe with a usable amount of marijuana.
Fillebrown wrote that before being arrested, Salatka admitted to saying he should put a bullet in Theriault’s head and said, “You can arrest me for criminal threatening.”
Salatka was taken to the Oxford County Jail.
Joseph Salatka (Oxford County jail photo)