Republican state Rep. Tom Hackbarth went looking for a date the other day in a Highland Park alley, with his Smith and Wesson .38 strapped to his waist.
He chose an odd place to park his pickup truck, too: The Planned Parenthood clinic lot, where security cameras caught him on tape.[jump]
A justifiably skittish guard at the Ford Parkway clinic called the cops to report an unidentified man carrying a gun on the property. No surprise there.
But Hackbarth was surprised. When the cops showed up, they suspected him of stalking and harassment, cuffed him and took away the pistol.
Turns out Hackbarth is in the middle of a divorce, and was looking for a woman he said he met online. Police described him as angry and jealous, which he denied to WCCO:
"She gave me some line of baloney, and I thought, 'well, she's fibbing to me.' You could tell, and I thought, 'well, I'm going to check it out.' and I went there to see if she was around and her vehicle was not there."
Hackbarth, who represents District 48a in Anoka County, is a big outdoorsman. Elected to the House in 1994, he's to be the next chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. And he has a permit to carry a concealed gun. Police didn't file charges. But they did take away the Smith & Wesson. He picked it up yesterday, and said he can't understand what all the fuss is about.