Rodney Bernard Kvam threatens to gun down census worker

Categories: How We Live

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Rodney Bernard Kvam notwithstanding, Minnesota's response rate of 80 percent in the 2010 Census is second in the nation. Only Wisconsin ranks higher.
Rodney Bernard Kvam really didn't want to speak with that woman from the U.S. Census Bureau back in May when she visited his home near the Austin Country Club: He threatened to shoot her.

The woman was part of a small army of census workers who have fanned out across the country in recent weeks to visit homes that haven't sent in their census forms, or have filled them out incompletely.

She never even made it to Kvam's front door, according to the Rochester Post-Bulletin. He met her in his front yard, she identified herself, and pretty quickly he started heaping on the verbal abuse and ordered her off his property.

She left, and walked next door. Oops. Kvam owned that house too. He followed her, yelled at her and:

Kvam repeatedly demanded that the woman get off his property and told her that if she didn't, she "would be shot," the complaint says. The woman drove away.

And she filed a police report. But when a deputy showed up to speak with Kvam, he denied ever speaking to a census worker, ever seeing her van. Then he blew his cool with the cop and the handcuffs came out.

We don't know why Kvam became so obstreperous, but if it was due to paranoia, we suggest he look at his wife. She ratted him out:

Kvam's wife told the deputy that she saw a woman in a van outside their house trying to speak to Kvam and that she heard him tell the woman to get off their property, according to the complaint. Kvam allegedly told his wife later that the woman was with the census.

Kvam's been charged with making terroristic threats, a felony, and misdemeanor disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process.

At a Wednesday press conference in Washington, Census Bureau spokesman Stephen Buckner said that attacks on Census workers were not uncommon: "We have had more than a hundred incidents of assaults or attacks on our personnel. There have been a number of shootings and threats involving guns. There have been robberies. There have been some carjackings and people held against their will."

Meantime, Minnesota now ranks second in the nation overall in its 2010 Census participation rate.

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