Feds: Novi man threatened to 'gun down' CNN

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

A Novi man faces charges related to four threatening phone calls to CNN this month, during which he railed against "fake news," cited his gun collection and threatened to gun down CNN staff, federal court records show.

The four threatening phone calls were among 22 calls Brandon Griesemer made to CNN's switchboard on Jan. 9 and 10, according to the federal complaint. 


On the first call, placed about 3 p.m. on Jan. 9, Griesemer allegedly said: "Fake news. I'm coming to gun you all down" before cursing and saying a racial slur before hanging up, the feds claim.

Griesemer was on the law enforcement radar after making a Sept. 19, 2017, call to the Islamic Center of Ann Arbor, a mosque, and making "derogatory comments relating to the mosque and Muslims." 

Ann Arbor police traced the call to a cellphone belonging to Griesemer's father. When police went to his home on Sept. 21, Griesemer's mother told them that her son said he had called the mosque. Police spoke to Griesemer later that day, during which he admitted making the call.

Minutes after the first call to CNN on Jan. 9, Griesemer allegedly called CNN again, telling the operator that he was on his way "to gun... CNN cast down," and when asked for his name, told the operator he was going to kill him, too.

A half-hour later, Griesemer allegedly made a third call to CNN, telling the operator "I have more guns than you. More manpower. Your cast is about to get gunned down in a matter of hours."

A CNN investigator got involved, tracking the threatening calls back and eventually reaching a man who identified himself as Brandon. The investigator recorded that call, compared them to previous calls, and came to believe the same man had placed them all.

The next day, Jan. 10, Griesemer allegedly placed another call to CNN, "making disparaging remarks regarding Jewish individuals," before telling the operator: "You are going down. I have a gun and I am coming to Georgia right now to go to the CNN headquarters to... gun every single last one of you. I have a team of people. It's going to be great, man... you gotta be prepared for this one, buddy."

The CNN investigator traced the cellphone calls back to cell tower in Novi.