SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake police arrested a man over the weekend who they say encouraged people to bring guns to a rally at the Salt Lake City-County Building and threatened Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

Marlin Richard Baer, 58, of Salt Lake City, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of making a terroristic threat and electronic communication harassment.

On Saturday, hundreds of people gathered on the lawn at Washington Square to express their discontent with how the American government is handling the spread of the novel coronavirus and calling for Utah businesses to be allowed to reopen.

But on Friday, Baer called Mendenhall’s office regarding the upcoming rally and threatened the Salt Lake City mayor, according to a police affidavit.

“Marlin stated the mayor needs to open up the city. If she doesn’t, she’ll be forcibly removed from office. There’s a protest tomorrow and if things don’t change, a civil war is coming, and the police can’t stop me. Marlin also commented on the Facebook page of this protest, ‘Bring your guns, the civil war starts Saturday, Be prepared to defend our god given constitutional right. Let no man stand us under, the time is now,’” the affidavit states.

Police also noted that they anticipated “an emotionally charged rally” and expressed concerns “that Marlin will commit violence if the mayor does not release the COVID-19 restrictions.”

Officers located Baer on Friday and arrested him.