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Okmulgee man arrested for allegedly threatening state senator

OKMULGEE, Okla. - A man accused of threatening a state senator is in jail, after making those threats inside the Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies say Steven Cates walked into the sheriff's office and started questioning the first deputy he saw. He was asking about State Senator Roger Thompson, who was speaking at an event directly across the street.

"He was asking about the security procedures and what kind of security Senator Thompson had," said Sgt. Aaron Swayze, an investigator with the sheriff's office.

The deputy talking to Cates that day described him as agitated, irate, and possibly under the influence.

In a matter of moments, Cates made a threat against the senator.

"That we need to be over there to protect the senator from him," Sgt. Swayze said.

According to the affidavit, "he planned on making the senator uncomfortable with questions, but said ultimately that the sheriff's office would be needed to protect the senator."

The deputy said Cates turned to leave, heading towards the church the senator was speaking at, so the deputy stopped him to question him further.

"In doing so, a struggle ensued," Sgt. Swayze said. "The deputy was elbowed in the face, and Mr. Cates was taken to the ground and placed under arrest."

Senator Thompson declined to comment on this story. However, according to court documents, he knew who Cates was immediately after having encountered him at several other public speaking events.

The affidavit states Cates threatened the deputy as well, saying "that there would come a time and place where [the deputy] would be unable to protect his wife and children and at that point Cates would be there coming for them."

"It was concerning enough to that deputy that it warranted another charge," Sgt. Swayze said.

Cates is charged with two counts of endeavoring to perform an act of violence, one count of assault and battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest. He was jailed on a $310,000 bond.