SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Days after filing a federal lawsuit against Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, Christopher Bruce is accused of stalking TenHaken. Bruce was arrested Friday, and made his first court appearance Friday afternoon.
Friday in court, Bruce referred to himself as “Christopher the living man.” In his federal lawsuit, Bruce admits he sent a message to the mayor in November saying they “had a friend in common” who knew the mayor’s “whole family.” Criminal documents say a message from Bruce also mentioned TenHaken’s children.
Both cases refer to an email Bruce sent to TenHaken and other city workers, where he wrote quote, “you can fight city hall, you just need a bigger gun, better bullets and harder armor.”
Documents in the criminal case say last month Bruce emailed the City Council, saying “This is your notice that the next public input session is about to be the most explosive to date.”
Bruce said in court on Friday that he didn’t understand charges against him. Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Aaron McGowan described Bruce as both a danger to the community and a flight risk.
The judge agreed with McGowan that Bruce is a danger and set a $25,000 cash bond.
T.J. Nelson, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff, tells KELOLAND News that “The City takes threats against the safety of the Mayor, City Council members and their family members extremely serious.”
Bruce is very familiar with the court system. He spent time in jail in Iowa and has filed several federal lawsuits against authorities in Iowa.