Emergency protective order granted for Mayor Troup against Jason Priest after ’10 sticks of dynamite’ comment

QUINCY — Quincy Mayor Mike Troup was granted an emergency summons protective order on Monday against Jason Priest, who said “Jesus has 10 sticks of dynamite for you” to the mayor during the Aug. 1 Quincy City Council meeting. 

The order of protection, signed by Judge John Wooleyhan, was filed with the Adams County Circuit Clerk’s office at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8. It will expire at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24. However, another hearing is set at the time the order expires. Wooleyhan could remove the protective order, or he could grant a plenary order of protection that lasts for up to two years.

The order states “the petitioner (Troup) is a victim of two or more acts of following, monitoring, observing, surveilling, threatening, communicating or inferring or damaging to property or pets by the respondent (Priest).”

Priest, who will turn 50 on Aug. 18, is prohibited from threatening to commit or committing stalking personally or through a third party. He also may not contact Troup in any way — directly, indirectly or through third parties — including (but not limited to) phone, written notes, mail, email or fax.

Priest also must stay at least 1,000 feet away from Troup, his residence and his place of employment. The order prohibits him from entering City Hall, 730 Maine.

Priest routinely speaks during the public forum part of the weekly City Council meeting, when community members have three minutes to address aldermen. He laces many of his diatribes with profanities, often directed at Troup himself.

At the beginning of the Aug. 1 meeting, Priest said to Quincy Police Chief Adam Yates, “You’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” before stepping to the podium to start his three-minute window to speak to aldermen. 

He then said, “The first thing I’d like to say is we need to get rid of this guy here (pointing toward Troup). Then we need to get rid of him (pointing to Yates in the back of the council chambers). They’re running around our town, destroying our black market.”

Wearing a black dress and a red wig, Priest then talked about a special permit request for a gambling parlor at 1034 N. Fourth (that aldermen eventually denied). 

“They don’t sell lottery tickets there either. Right, Mayor?” Priest said. “Yeah, you wouldn’t know.”

He then said, “Jesus don’t have any political beliefs. Jesus doesn’t want your Christian money, Mayor. There’s only one thing promoting Jesus, and that he hates your guts. Mayor, Jesus has 10 sticks of dynamite waiting for you. He’s going to muffle those ears. He’s going to black out those eyes and shut your Christian mouth. That’s what he’s going to do.”

Troup said he would not tolerate any more of Priest’s outburst.

“You can take it!” Priest replied. “You can take it! You put my ass in jail for 14 days.”

“Jason, you’re making threats,” Troup said.

“No, I didn’t. That’s not a threat. Jesus made the threat,” Priest said. “Learn your vocabulary, sir.”

Alderman Ben Uzelac, D-7, then asked if the city council should go into recess, and aldermen voted to do just that. Priest continued to refuse to sit down, saying he wanted “my three minutes.” When Sgt. Nick Hiland tried to escort Priest out of the council chambers, Priest said, “I’m not going anywhere, man.”

As he was being led out of the room, Priest said, “I didn’t say nothing wrong, guys. (Troup) put me in jail. They destroyed my house. They took everything I had out of my house.”

Yates says Priest’s attendance has forced him to bring an extra officer and supervisor to City Council meetings. 

“I think this has gone on long enough,” Yates said. “We need to protect the mayor’s safety and the public’s safety at council meetings.”

Priest was charged July 2 with criminal damage to government-supported property, a Class 3 felony, after allegedly destroying a phone in a kiosk in the Adams County Jail. 

Priest was charged July 1 with one count of reckless conduct, a Class A misdemeanor, and two counts of disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor. 

He allegedly stood in the 2300 block of State and impeded traffic. He allegedly walked on to State Street while not being in a crosswalk in such an unreasonable manner as to alarm or disturb Margaret Rouse and provoke a breach of the peace. He allegedly put his hands down his underwear and manipulated his genitals while standing on the street and along the sidewalk in front of his residence at 2309 State. He allegedly stood naked outside on the porch of his residence in such a manner that it alarmed or disturbed Cristine Kerker, as well as yelling at traffic on State Street as it passed by.

Judge Tad Brenner ordered a fitness hearing for Priest on June 22. It has been rescheduled three times and now is set for Aug. 22.

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