A friend of Moncton shooting suspect Justin Bourque has been arrested on allegations that he made death threats against law-enforcement officers.
Jasper Stam appeared at the Moncton courthouse Monday.
He is charged with one count of uttering a death threat to peace officers sometime between May 10 and May 18 of this year, according to an information sheet filed by the RCMP.
Though court documents don't explicitly say the charge is related to the Moncton shootings or the ensuing manhunt, the judge ordered Mr. Stam not to communicate with the 24-year-old Mr. Bourque.
Mr. Stam is slated to appear again for a bail hearing on Wednesday morning.
Describing himself on social media as a 24-year-old musician, baker and anarchist, Mr. Stam defends Mr. Bourque, with whom he is Facebook friend.
“Justin had no mental illness. he did not do hard drugs. he did not do anyone who deserved respect any wrong. Not ever,” Mr. Stam wrote on Facebook during the weekend.
He was alluding to Mr. Bourque, who is facing murder charges in the shooting deaths of three RCMP officers ambushed in the streets of north Moncton last Wednesday.
Mr. Bourque is “one of the most respectable of my friends. Polite also. I'm sorry for the lack of mercy that people are displaying for him,” Mr. Stam wrote.
He added that Mr. Bourque “didn't put on a uniform every day and pretend to be above others. [harassing] the public as the pigs do downtown and on the roads.”
The comments, along with others accusing the police of killing innocent people, was part of a Facebook discussion started when Mr. Stam announced that he “just got fired for being friends with someone.”
Paul Green, a spokesman for the RCMP in New Brunswick, declined to comment on the investigation into Mr. Stam but said the charge was not connected to the murders of the three officers.
Mr. Stam at one point worked at Cafe Codiac, a west Moncton eatery, according to a man who works there now and describes himself as a friend, though not close.
Michel Vienneau said Mr. Stam hasn't been a cafe employee since at least January, when Mr. Vienneau started there. The pair met a few years ago at Plan B, a Moncton live music venue, where Mr. Vienneau's band played .
He said he's surprised at hearing Mr. Stam has been accused of uttering death threats, calling him a "super nice guy."
"That blows me away," said Mr. Vienneau, adding he last saw Mr. Stam a couple of weeks ago and sometimes bumps into him at the local outdoor market on Saturdays.
Mr. Stam was said to have most recently worked at a bakery in a nearby town; a man who answered the phone there declined to comment. Mr. Stam's brother also declined to comment, other than to say he learned of the charges Monday afternoon and that "Jasper is his own man."
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