Arlington Heights looking into Facebook post threatening to run over protesters
Arlington Heights police are looking into a post that reportedly appeared on a local trucking firm's Facebook page that threatens to run over protesters on roadways.
Screenshots of the posting have circulated online, purported to be from the Facebook page of CAT Express, Inc., a transportation company with offices on the south side of Arlington Heights.
The post, as well as the company's Facebook page, have since been taken down. Company officials did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.
"The police department is aware of the situation and have investigated and the business has been contacted," Village Manager Randy Recklaus said in an email. "The (Facebook) account has been closed."
Village Trustee Rich Baldino said he was "appalled" at the post and glad to see it was removed. Baldino reached out to Recklaus, who assured him the police department would look into the issue.
"I don't believe they committed a crime," Baldino said. "I do believe that it was a hateful post. To go on social media and say that you're going to commit murder is just wrong."
Staite's original post and the one that was reportedly on the CAT Express page, said truckers would "defend ourselves everytime," which could include using their 80,000-pound trucks to "run you over."
The postings, which included profanities, also said cities where there is looting, rioting and trucks being stopped are "hear-by put on notice."
"Congregating in the roadway will only get you run over," according to a screenshot of the Facebook post Sunday night. "Having people standing and blocking the highway is a threat to our physical safety and we will respond appropriately to your attack. Standing in the roadway is NOT a protest. It is an attack on our safety.
"Air horns will sound, steering wheels will be held tightly; but those brakes will not be touched. You will move, or you will die. 80,000 pounds at 70mph will win every time. STAY OUT OF THE ROADWAY."
In an interview with the financial website Business Insider, Staite said he believes truck drivers have the right to run over protesters as a means of self-defense, and his original post says, "We don't want to, but will if we have to, to save our own life."
His original post has since been edited and shared by other online sources. The version reportedly posted on the CAT Express page appeared to have been an edited version.