March 17, 2018
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Maine man accused of threatening Swedish king, diplomats

Courtesy of York County Jail | York County Jail
Courtesy of York County Jail | York County Jail
Eric Malmstrom
By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

A Vinalhaven man has been arrested and charged with a felony after allegedly making “hundreds” of vulgar phone calls to the Swedish Embassy in Washington, D.C., threatening workers and Sweden’s monarch.

The U.S. Secret Service charged Eric Malmstrom, 39, of Vinalhaven with making threats under the U.S. interstate communications code, a Class D felony that could come with a prison sentence up to five years or a fine up to $250,000. Malmstrom could have two years added to his sentence for allegedly violating parole conditions, according to court documents.

Malmstrom allegedly started calling the embassy in September 2017, often leaving voicemails when no one picked up after hours, according to a Secret Service criminal complaint.

The first such call came on Sept. 22, 2017, when Malmstrom allegedly called the embassy after it had closed and left a vulgar voicemail stating that he would use a knife to assault “everyone’s daughters.” Whenever an after-hours voicemail is left at the embassy, the message gets logged and forwarded on to a government office in Stockholm, Sweden.

On Oct. 2, 2017, Malmstrom allegedly called the embassy again, spoke to a security officer, and made a similar threat against daughters and said he would “blow all your [expletive] heads off, watch.” He made two more similar calls that day, according to court records. The security officer took note of the Maine phone number on caller ID.

Malmstrom allegedly called multiple times again on Oct. 10, allegedly saying he wanted to stab them to death “for all pain that you [expletive] Swedes have caused me.” In another call that day, he allegedly said he wanted to use a knife to assault “King Carl,” referring to Swedish monarch King Carl XVI Gustaf.

These calls continued for several months. In one, he allegedly identified himself as Eric Malmstrom of Vinalhaven, Maine, and said he was of Swedish descent and lived with siblings.

The volume of calls increased “substantially,” sometimes coming in 10 times per day.

During one week in late January, while a consular employee was on vacation, Malmstrom allegedly left 122 voicemails on that person’s phone, according to court records.

In the midst of these calls, in November 2017, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office went to Vinalhaven to conduct a “welfare check” and confirmed that Malmstrom lived with his sister at the home from where the calls originated. Malmstrom denied making calls to the embassy, but said he was upset because he felt the Swedish government had ignored him during a past visit to the country. The Secret Service confirmed he’d traveled there in 2000, and that he no longer had a valid passport.

After the police visit, Malmstrom allegedly called the embassy again, upset that they’d reported him and that his sister had threatened to take away phone privileges after police showed up.

The calls continued through March. On March 5 and 6, he allegedly called two consular employees and said he planned on traveling to D.C. to harm them. After those calls, the Secret Service issued an arrest warrant, and Malmstrom was arrested at a residence in Sanford.

A York County Jail official said Wednesday that Malmstrom was brought to York County Jail on March 9, but was picked up three days later by Secret Service agents, who likely took him to a federal prison in Berlin, New Hampshire.

Malmstrom was arrested in 2000 for setting fire to a Portland apartment building after an argument with a friend, who was nearly killed by the smoke, according to previous reports.

In 2009, Malmstrom threw scalding water into a corrections officer’s face at Cumberland County Jail, causing second degree burns, leading to assault charges.

Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.

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