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Judge orders man to stay away from city offices

September 11, 2008

A man who had repeatedly threatened city employees is now barred from visiting South Bend governmental offices after a St. Joseph Circuit judge granted a workplace violence protective order and permanent injunction against the man.

The city of South Bend sought the protective order and permanent injunction against St. Joseph County resident Stephan Alexander Range. St. Joseph Circuit Judge Michael G. Gotsch granted the order and injunction Sept. 9; the court previously had entered a temporary restraining order against Range.

According to the court order, Range repeatedly visited city offices and disrupted the workplace and threatened employees. Range visited the city's Animal Care and Control Shelter wearing a firearm and ammunition on several occasions and had to be removed by South Bend Police. Despite being asked by city employees to not return to the shelter, Range continued going there with a firearm and ammunition.

He's prevented city employees from doing their jobs and caused several to fear for their personal safety at work and at home, according to reports. Range claims he is "chosen of God to deliver his people," compares himself to Moses, and says he may "bring desolation to an empire."

Judge Gotsch ordered Range to stay away from any city employee, to not threaten, batter, or stalk any employee, to stay out of certain city offices, such as the clerk's office, attorney's office, mayor's office, and animal shelter, and to not contact any employees at home or at work. He's only allowed to come to the city offices in person after receiving prior written permission from the Department of Law. He must also contact the city attorney by letter for non-emergency request for information. The order allows range to phone the police or fire department in the case of an actual emergency.

The order will remain in effect until Sept. 9, 2011, at which time South Bend may request renewal of the order.

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