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Florida man, 32, is arrested after he threatened a census taker with an assault-style weapon

 A Florida man was arrested for using an assault-style weapon to threaten a census taker who had come to his house for the nationwide count of every US resident.

Michael Cooper, 32, was arrested Monday after threatening census taker Johnny Swinney in Bunnell, according to a police report.

Neighbors told deputies that Swinney's US Census Bureau badge was clearly identifiable when he approached Cooper, who was sitting on the porch of his home.

The census taker identified himself as a federal worker but Cooper yelled at him to leave, went into his home, and came back out with an assault-style weapon, according to an incident report.

He loaded the chamber and Swinney returned to his vehicle, where his wife was. 

Swinney's wife Nicole told deputies that she saw Cooper pointing his weapon at her husband's back as he walked away from the house. 

Once in the vehicle, they heard a shot fired in an unknown direction, according to the incident report.


Cooper told deputies that Swinney was trespassing and that he didn't see an identification badge. He said he shot a round into the ground because he didn't want to leave it in the chamber.

Cooper is facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. 

Hundreds of thousands of census takers have been sent out to homes that haven't responded to the 2020 census online, by mail, or telephone yet

Hundreds of thousands of census takers have been sent out to homes that haven't responded to the 2020 census online, by mail, or telephone yet 

Jail records showed Cooper being held on a $7,500 bond at the Flagler County Jail on Tuesday.

Hundreds of thousands of census takers have been sent out to homes that haven't responded to the 2020 census online, by mail, or telephone yet. 

The head count, which determines how many congressional seats each state gets and how $1.5trillion in federal funding is distributed annually, is set to end at the end of the month. 

The Census Bureau said it was checking on how many threats have been made against census takers during the 2020 count.

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