Threatening Note Found At Refugee Center

By Lauren DiSpirito

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Police in Aurora are investigating after two threatening notes were found at a refugee center.

The notes, which read, “WERE GONNA BLOW UP ALL OF YOU REFUGEES!” were discovered Thursday morning by an employee of the Mango House on the 1500 block of Galena Street.

(credit: Facebook)

(credit: Facebook)

Police told CBS4 that officers are investigating the incident as a bias-motivated crime.

P.J. Parmar, who owns Mango House and runs a medical practice in the building, posted the notes to his business’s Facebook page.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Mango House is a shared space where services and businesses and non-profits geared toward helping refugees work together. In all, Parmar says more than a dozen services are offered at the center, including medical and dental care and after school programs. Mango House serves more than 10,000 people in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming.

The employee found both notes, one in the building’s parking lot, and the other, inside a stairwell, according to Parmar. He said he was “not terribly scared” by the threatening messages, and sees them more as a cowardly move than an eminent threat.

CBS4's Lauren DiSpirito interviews P.J. Parmar (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Lauren DiSpirito interviews P.J. Parmar (credit: CBS)

“We work for these people for a reason, we try to cut down barriers to care,” Parmar said, “we’re not going to be phased by this threat, we’ve made some steps to step up security in the last few months because of others issues around the building and we’ll re-evaluate, but we’re not going to stop what we’re doing.”

Parmar believes the threats are motivated by the current political climate.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“I think there’s a larger segment of society that’s now found a voice in terms of what they want to get across,” he said.

The notes were discovered one day after reports surfaced that indicate President Donald Trump may soon make changes to policies on refugees.

The Associated Press obtained a draft of the executive order, which says that the president plans to suspend issuing visas for people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen for at least 30 days. The order also shows that President Donald Trump intends to stop accepting Syrian refugees and suspend the United States’ broader refugee program for 120 days, CBS News reported.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“It’s a minority of the population of course, but that minority now has a vocal leadership in terms of Donald Trump,” Parmar said, “in terms of the rhetoric we saw during the campaign and in terms of executive orders.”

Aurora police say they are taking the threats seriously and would not comment further on an ongoing investigation.

Lauren DiSpirito reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. She covers breaking news and feature stories along Colorado’s Front Range. Follow her on Twitter @CBS4Lauren. Share your story ideas with her here.

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