A nationwide arrest warrant has been issued for a Lakeville man – a former police officer – accused of stalking a woman, threatening to kill himself in front of her.
John Edward Harmon, 50, is charged with felony stalking or harassment, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The charge has a mandatory minimum penalty of three years in prison and a $3,000 fine.
Lakeville police were asked to check on Harmon’s welfare at about 6 p.m. Jan. 3, according to the criminal complaint. The request was made by Harmon’s ex-girlfriend, who said Harmon had recently called her and told her, “I’m going to find you and blow my brains out in front of you so you can remember it for every waking moment of your life,” the complaint says.
After Harmon made that remark, the call was disconnected, the woman told police. She said that Harmon, a former police officer in Faribault, appeared “very unstable” and that he carried at least one handgun all the time, though he does not have a permit to carry a firearm.
Police contacted Harmon’s cell-phone provider and discovered that his phone was at his home in the 16300 block of Linch Avenue. Officers made numerous attempts to contact him via cell phone and text message, but none of the calls or messages were answered.
Police kept two squad cars near Harmon’s home, but were unable to locate him.
At about 10:30 a.m. Jan. 5, the mother of Harmon’s ex-girlfriend called police and said Harmon had called to wish her a happy birthday, then told her he had been up all night “listening to the devil,” according to the complaint.
Harmon also read the woman a letter that he had written to her daughter, in which he said he wanted her daughter to suffer the way he was suffering and that he wanted to hurt her the way she had hurt him, the woman told police.
The woman also said that Harmon had implied that he was suicidal, saying he would like to “be in the cemetery” and that he planned to go into the woods “and let nature take its course.” When the woman told Harmon not to hurt himself on her birthday, he said he would wait until the next day.
Police again contacted Harmon’s cell-phone provider and learned that his phone was still at his Lakeville home. Officers got a search warrant for his house and were able to reach him by telephone, but he refused to come out of his house.
While officers were outside the house, they spotted Harmon on the roof, where he yelled to officers to “just shoot me.” After negotiating with Harmon for a “lengthy period,” police broke into Harmon’s home and used tear gas to get him to leave.
After subduing Harmon, police found that he was wearing a bulletproof vest beneath several coats. He was taken to a hospital via ambulance.
Harmon was fired from the Faribault police force in September 2010 after being deemed unfit for duty. He had been a patrol officer with the department since 1992.
Harmon’s whereabouts are unknown. Anyone with information is asked to contact local police.