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San Jose: Authorities disarm man after allegations he was terrorizing ex-employer

SAN JOSE — A man has been charged with felony stalking and had his firearms temporarily confiscated by authorities on allegations that after he was fired from a construction company, he methodically tracked his former bosses and sent them a litany of messages indicating that he was watching their movements.

Bryan Velasquez, 43, of Morgan Hill, was charged last week and has since posted bail, according to jail and court records. Prosecutors with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office say weapons-related charges against Velasquez could follow after illegally modified rifles were found at his home.

According to investigators and a gun-violence restraining order filed by San Jose police, Velasquez was fired from his job at a San Jose-based construction firm in January. In the ensuing months he reportedly proceeded to leave threatening messages with supervisors and executives at the company.

The construction company contacted San Jose police in April, prompting an eventual investigation by the police department and district attorney’s office. The gun-violence restraining order compels Velasquez to surrender his firearms, pending a tentatively scheduled June 6 court hearing to assess his fitness to safely possess guns.

No one answered calls by this news organization to listed phone numbers for Velasquez on Tuesday.

The restraining order alleges that a “disgruntled” Velasquez left emails and Instagram posts, seemingly directed at the reported victims, that showed images and videos of guns — including footage of him shooting guns — and that he signed them up for email alerts from companies selling body armor. Prosecutors also allege that he created LinkedIn accounts in his former bosses’ names and filled them with disparaging comments.

Also according to prosecutors and police, Velasquez sent emails with content suggesting he was watching them, describing specific details about their homes and the movements of some of their family members.

“A week ago, they got an email from him that was angry. It was not a specified threat, but there were multiple implied threats,” said Marisa McKeown, a supervising attorney for the DA’s Crime Strategies Unit. “It had statements like, I know where you live, I see you installed a pool, I know what your wife is driving.”

When police served an arrest warrant and the gun-violence restraining order at Velasquez’s home on May 19, they confiscated several rifles and handguns, ammunition and body armor. At least two of the rifles, prosecutors say, had illegal modifications including rear pistol grips and detachable magazines, both of which are prohibited in California.

McKeown said the case demonstrates the limits of what can be charged when someone makes indirect threats that carry more gravity when it’s known that they are armed. But even when in doubt, she encourages people to contact authorities in case an avenue like a gun-violence restraining order could apply.

“This kind of pre-assaultive behavior is difficult to address criminally,” she said. “There so many of these examples where people ask, ‘What do I do?’ If there’s possibly a crime, we can do things to disarm this person and gauge the risk.”

Anyone with information about the case can contact SJPD Detective Sgt. John Byers at 408-277-3835 or by email at [email protected], or leave a tip with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-7867 or at

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