LITTLE ROCK — A vaguely threatening remark led to the evacuation of the federal building in downtown Fayetteville and the arrest of a Fayetteville man Monday, police said.

LITTLE ROCK — A vaguely threatening remark led to the evacuation of the federal building in downtown Fayetteville and the arrest of a Fayetteville man Monday, police said.


John Scharnhorst III, 45, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree terroristic threatening, first-degree criminal mischief and commercial burglary after the incident, according to a preliminary police report.


Officers were dispatched to a business, Terra Tots, shortly before 11 a.m. in response to a report of a threat in progress. The manager, Nathan Hill, told police Scharnhorst had thrown a sign through the glass front door of the business and threatened to kill him.


Hill told police Scharnhorst tried to step into business, but he left after seeing Hill was armed. Scharnhorst was unhappy because Terra Tots was no longer selling his wife’s shoes, Hill reported.


Fayetteville Police Sgt. Craig Stout said officers apprehended Scharnhorst near the John Paul Hammerschmidt Federal Building, and as they were taking him into custody he asked if the structure was the federal building. The officers asked why he wanted to know, and Scharnhorst told them they would find out, Stout said.


Officers saw electronic equipment and wires in Scharnhorst’s vehicle, Stout said. The U.S. Marshals Service evacuated the federal building after learning of the situation.


The building was reopened about two hours later.