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Man suspected of making multiple death threats

A man who believes he owns all of Spokane County and has proclaimed himself a war commander is in the Spokane County Jail facing multiple felony harassment charges after allegedly threatening to kill several construction workers.

Police visited a construction site at Flint Road and U.S. Highway 2 three times before John R. McCormack, 60, was arrested on Thursday. The previous visits were on Monday and Wednesday. In each instance workers told police that McCormack claimed to have killed two Secret Service agents on his front porch, according to court documents. McCormack handed them a list of “crimes” that warranted “instant death” that included wearing a military hat incorrectly, court documents say. McCormack allegedly told one worker that he was “required to kill him” for “invading sovereign territory.”

Spokane Police Department spokeswoman Monique Cotton said McCormack was not arrested after the first police response on July 7 because there was not probable cause to file charges. In that instance, McCormack’s comments were general and not specific threats, she said. McCormack could not be located by police when they responded on July 9, but he was home when police visited the next day and was arrested.

An officer wrote in a police report that McCormack seemed to think he still was active duty in the military and appeared to be reliving previous events from his life.

Some of the workers reported seeing a rifle carrying case leaned up against McCormack’s car when he made threats on Thursday. A search of McCormack’s house revealed that there was a 5-foot-long level in the case, not a weapon, according to the police report.

During a court appearance Friday, McCormack identified himself as a “Nez Perce agent” and “Commander of the War Department.” He was ordered held on a $10,000 bond.

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Then and Now: Comstock Park

James M. Comstock, born in 1838 in Wisconsin, arrived in Spokane in time to witness the great fire of 1889 and start Spokane Dry Goods with Robert Paterson. It became the Crescent, Spokane’s premier department store for a century. He also worked in real estate and owned other businesses. He served a term as Spokane mayor, starting in 1899. James Comstock died in 1918.