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WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — The Claysville man accused of threatening to shoot up a Washington County polling place on Election Day is headed to trial.
“Crypto Storm has the true story,” said suspect Christopher Queen on his way out of a Washington County courtroom on Monday.
Queen, 48, said social media would answer any questions about why he reportedly threatened the polling place workers; but, inside the courtroom, it was the poll workers who painted the picture.
Joanne Zelinski said Queen was agitated that day, “He came in, he was obviously a little bit troubled.”
Cindy Riley said she noticed similar behavior.
“He walked in the door, and he was in line to vote, and he was making comments that if he came to vote, he was going to be given $100,” Riley said.
Poll workers weren’t upset by Queen’s comments.
In fact, as it turned out, he wasn’t able to vote that day because he wasn’t registered to vote in Washington County.
“When he came to vote, and he wasn’t registered, he got a little upset,” said Riley.
Queen was told he would have to go to the Election Board to learn more about his registration, or lack thereof, and that, say workers, is when he took things to another level.
“That’s when he said, ‘I’m going to come and shoot up the place,'” said Riley.
Poll workers initially contacted the Washington County Elections Office, which is standard procedure. The office then contacted state police.
Workers say the precaution is more a “sign of the times.”
“Maybe five years ago we would have never even thought to call, but with what goes on today, you want to err on the side of caution,” said Zelinski.
Queen was charged with terroristic threats and disorderly conduct. He was held on both counts in court on Monday.
Riley and Zelinski, who know Queen and his family say, even though they heard the threat, they don’t believe jail is the answer for him.
“I’d rather see him get some help in a mental institution. He’s been through a lot of things, and he needs some help,” said Zelinski.
“I would hate to see him in jail, like Joanne said, I wish he could go to a place where he could get help and not go to jail,” said Riley.
But, for now, he remains in the Washington County Jail, and he’s sticking to his story.
“Read Crypto Storm on Twitter. The truth will come out,” Queen said.