A Minnesota man is due in court today after being arrested on New Year’s Eve for assault after he pulled a gun on a gym manager in a Minneapolis suburb. According to authorities, it wasn’t ‘roid rage, but ‘rona rage that sparked the alleged assault in Maplewood, Minnesota that led to charges against 64-year old Michael Florhaug.
Police say Florhaug showed up at an L.A. Fitness location around 5:30 on New Year’s Eve intent on monitoring gym patrons to see if they were adhering to the mask mandate imposed by Gov. Tim Walz. Florhaug isn’t a state employee, and doesn’t even belong to the gym, but he didn’t let that stop him from confronting the manager of the gym over a number of patrons that were apparently going maskless in Maplewood.
Florhaug spoke to an employee at the front desk in an “aggressive and angry” manner about gym members not wearing masks. Eventually, a manager spoke to Florhaug. The complaint says the manager attempted to explain that staff cannot be everywhere in the gym to enforce the mandate, suggesting that Florhaug was welcome to pay an employee out of his own pocket to enforce the mask rules in the back area of the gym.
The 64-year-old then yelled at the manager, calling him “dumb.” After the manager told Florhaug he could not enter the gym, Florhaug said he was going to walk around the gym and “take pictures of people,” later saying his intention was to get the business in trouble. The gym has a sign posted that prohibits photography inside the premises without the consent of the individuals inside, according to the complaint.
I can’t help but wonder if Florhaug was this much of an angry jerk before the coronavirus hit, or if he, like so many others, is a little broken after the stresses of 2020. Either way, it doesn’t excuse what happened next.
The manager of the gym then put his hands up to stop Florhaug from further entering the gym, in which Florhaug said “Oh yeah?” and proceeded to pull out and point a SIG Sauer 9 mm handgun at the manager. A member of the gym confirmed to police that Florhaug did not “flash” the gun, but “completely removed it from his pocket and point it” at the manager. The complaint notes that Florhaug has an active permit to carry a firearm.
I bet he doesn’t have that permit for long. As a group, concealed carry holders are actually more law-abiding than the general population, but every now and then a guy like Florhaug comes along and gives gun control activists something to point to in their demands for civilian disarmament.
The gym manager ultimately tackled and disarmed the 64-year old as he tried to enter the gym, telling police that he was concerned Florhaug might try to target patrons inside who weren’t wearing a mask. Florhaug, meanwhile, told police that he simply “flashed” his handgun when the manager became “aggressive.”
Yeah, that’s right. Florhaug, who showed up at a gym he didn’t belong to with the intent of snooping and snitching on the maskless, then pulled a gun when the manager tried to stop him from coming inside, claims that it was the manager who got aggressive.
This entire situation could have been avoided if Florhaug had simply minded his own business. He had no reason and no right to try and police the mask mandate on his own, and I doubt that the judge in his case is going to view him as an upstanding citizen just looking out for the public’s best interest with his vigilante mask-ivism.
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