Gainesville man sent threatening email to city commissioners

GAINESVILLE, Fla., (WCJB) ---- Rising utility rates are leading to rising tensions between city commissioners and at least one resident. An email sent to Gainesville commissioners over the weekend led to the Gainesville Police Department getting involved.

"My first reaction was to laugh it off," stated Commissioner Harvey Ward.

Police say 37- year- old Joshua Gromoll told city commissioners that each of them had a " crosshair on them " as a response to being upset about recent reports regarding GRU rates increasing.

"In this day and age, we can't assume based on viable threats that a person didn't mean any harm because of that and things that have happened around the country. So it's still our job to try and vet out if this is a legitimate concern or not," stated Jorge Campos, GPD spokesperson.

Police say Gromoll then sent another email stating that he was referring to the commissioners' jobs and not their lives. Gromoll has been issued a trespassing warning. He will have to contact city management prior to visiting city buildings.

"When somebody says you know I got you in my crosshairs or whatever the statement was. I'm not going to try and come up with a creative interpretation of that. I think the right thing to do is take it seriously and not wait until bullets are flying," stated Commissioner Ward.