Kalispell Man Accused of Intimidation Appears in Court

David Joseph Lenio has been charged with intimidation and criminal defamation for threatening school children and religious leaders on Twitter

The Kalispell man accused of threatening school children and religious leaders on social media made his initial appearance in Flathead County Justice Court on Feb. 19.

David Joseph Lenio, 28, who recently moved to the Flathead Valley from Michigan, has been charged with intimidation and criminal defamation, both felonies, after he sent a series of Twitter messages earlier this month saying that he was going to open fire inside a local school and assassinate Jewish religious leaders.

As Lenio was led into the courtroom on Thursday afternoon he yelled “free Palestine” and told people to visit his YouTube page to find the “truth” about the 9/11 attacks and the 2011 shooting of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

In one online post on Feb. 12, Lenio wrote, “I bet I could get at least 12 unarmed sitting ducks if I decide to go on a killing spree in a school. Sounds better than being a wage slave.” And in another tweet, sent on Feb. 15, he wrote, “If my tax dollars can go to blowing up Palestine school kids then surely I can tweet about how cool killing school kids is.”

On Feb. 16, an officer with the Kalispell Police Department contacted Lenio to talk to him about his tweets. Lenio admitted that he had sent the messages and that he was “trying to bring attention to certain social issues.” He then told the officer that he was glad his tweets were gaining the attention of law enforcement and school officials.

Later that same day, an officer talked to Lenio’s roommate, who said that Lenio had brought rifles and ammunition to their home the night before. Police obtained a search warrant of Lenio’s apartment and found a 9mm semi-automatic rifle and a Russian made bolt-action rifle in his bedroom. They also found numerous rounds of ammunition in Lenio’s bedroom and basement. Later they conducted a search of Lenio’s vehicle and found a .32 caliber semi-automatic pistol and more ammunition. They also discovered marijuana, a pipe and jugs of urine.

Lenio was arrested on Feb. 16 at 4:45 p.m. as he was coming back from snowboarding at Whitefish Mountain Resort. The arrest was made in coordination with the Kalispell Police Department, the FBI, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and the Whitefish Police Department.

Kalispell Police Chief Roger Nasset said the fact that Lenio had moved guns to his house over the weekend was what took the threat to the “next level” and led to his arrest.

“(Lenio posed) a very real threat,” Nasset said. “I did not want children’s blood on my hands because I didn’t do everything I could.”

Lenio is currently in the Flathead County Jail with a bail of $500,000. His arraignment has been set for March 19 at 1:30 p.m.

If convicted, Lenio could face up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $50,000.

  • geraldcuvillier

    Hmmm. A snowboarder, I wonder if he was on a slanted lake. He does not sound like your typical tea-bagger to me. I would say a mite left of center.

    • I’ll Pass

      I think he’s a mite crazy and his politics matter not.

      • MIke O’Reilly

        Well, only in the sense that all terrorists, mass-shooters, and gun hoarders are “a mite crazy” – but when the lunatic is white, he’s more likely to processed as mentally ill, and his politics an offshoot of general mental illness, while dark skinned and ethnic lunatics are more likely to be processed as terrorists or thugs whose political and religious beliefs motivated them. It’s part of the racial filter that colors what we see.

    • Egalitarian77

      Thanks for sharing Gerald. So all snowboarders…

      I didn’t know he was a tea-bagger.

      • mikCND

        Doubt if it matters when a person’s insane. Unless many tea baggers are?

    • Tadashi Hirano

      I know someone that has a very similar view. Anti-Semitism, conspiracy theorist, blind supporter of the 2nd amendment, anti-war on drugs and support Marijuana legalization. He claims himself as a libertarian and likes Ron Paul.

    • Robert Petersen

      left of center? I think you misunderstand what “center” means. This moron was about as fringe as you can get. Sadly my lovely home has been invaded by a small noisy bunch of right-wing nuts many times and the result is always the same-sooner or later they wear out their welcome. Montana isn’t populated by as many bigots as the MSM makes it seem-most of us are live-and-let-live public-land-loving patriots. As long as you’re not an Indian anyway…

  • Oliver Watkins

    He’s a ‘truther’. Even more retarded than a Tea-Bagger

  • Montana Trace

    Thank you Chief Nasset.

  • mikCND

    obvious red flags, glad he’s locked up.

  • Fast

    Don’t worrie he will go to prison and then he will find Jesus and then get out on early parole.

    • Dolmance

      No, he won’t go to prison, because his charges were dropped, he was released, and had his arsenal, the one he said he was going to use on children returned to him.

  • pubpubpub

    Unbelievable, Marxists in Montana. You filth should be ashamed of yourselves for destroying this country and the First Amendment.

    • DaymanFighterOfTheNightman

      I don’t think you understand the definition of Marxism. It doesn’t apply anywhere here. Also, I don’t think you understand the imminent threat exemption to the First Amendment.

      I don’t want this guy to go to jail necessarily, but as a parent in the area, I’m glad they took steps to protect my kids, and strangely I don’t think that makes me one o dem pinko commies yer worried about der.

      • pubpubpub

        I don’t think you have a clue what you’re talking about. You just have an agenda.

  • RonPaulKicksAss

    He could go to prison for 20 years? For what? Weed?
    Sounds like he is going to jail for thought crimes.

  • Ralphire

    Once again, when you say anything bad about the chosen race of Cochroaches then the police are all over the place. This is why we must always defend the second amendment, stop OBAMATRADE AKA TPP from turning us into the European Union with Asia making are laws, and never back down from the Zionist who will destroy America.

    • Dolmance

      Doesn’t seem to me like the authorities were “all over the place” at all on this. This sociopath, like yourself, threatened to murder a classroom full of elementary age school children, and was released into the custody of his investment banker father.

      Would you feel comfortable having some maniac threatening to murder all the kids in your child’s classroom, assuming you could find a female insane enough to couple with you? Would you feel he was persecuted at being arrested? Would you feel good about him being released with all charges dropped, and having his arsenal returned to him?

  • Dolmance

    The jugs of urine can be used to create what is called a “urea/phosphate” bomb, which consists in part of reduced urine by means of evaporation. It is a very crude, very unstable and very powerful explosive, and because of the origin of its active ingredient is untraceable.