Navy Veteran Points Out Unnerving Government Presence Not Far From Ferguson — and Now He’s Looking for Another Job

Mark Paffrath was leaving work from the Drury Plaza Hotel in Chesterfield, Missouri, Thursday when he noticed something unnerving — about 100 Department of Homeland Security vehicles in the parking garage, Argus Streaming News reported.

Paffrath snapped a couple of photos and took a short video that he uploaded to his Facebook page:

Drury Plaza Hotel in Chesterfield is about 25 miles southwest of Ferguson where protests erupted since Darren Wilson, a white police officer, fatally shot Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old in August. A grand jury is expected to announce its decision any day on whether Wilson will be indicted — and many are concerned about more unrest should the decision be no.

Shortly after arriving to work on Friday, Paffrath told News Now he was called into the office of hotel general manager Jeff Barker and told to remove the photos and video. Paffrath did — and then finished his shift.

But just 30 minutes after Paffrath arrived to work Saturday, Jim Bohnert, director of security for Drury Hotels Company, told Paffrath he had been fired, News Now reported. His Facebook posts would have cost the hotel chain a $150,000 contract with the Department of Homeland Security unless Paffrath was fired, the outlet added.

As if that wasn’t enough, Paffrath also claimed Bohnert told him, “[Y]ou’re a terrorist and you have dishonorably served your country by posting the photos and video.”

When Paffrath told Bohnert he never put the location of the vehicles on the photos or the video, Bohnert reportedly said “all they have to do is click on your name and see where you work.” Paffrath said Bohnert concluded their conversation by saying “if you repost the photos and video you will have the federal government knocking on your door and you will be incarcerated.”

But it appears Paffrath didn’t take Bohnert’s advice. His Facebook timeline shows that on Saturday he reposted at least the two photos.

Paffrath, a U.S. Navy veteran who served in the Middle East before coming home to the St. Louis area, didn’t seem too fazed by all that had happened. He had this to say on his Facebook page Saturday:

Image source: Facebook/Mark.Paffrath.58
Image source: Facebook/Mark.Paffrath.58

Drury Hotels General Manager Jeff Barker did not immediately respond to TheBlaze’s request for comment Sunday.

But a front-end manager at the hotel reportedly wrote a message to all employees at the location, saying “The Department of Homeland Security Group: Confidential in nature, which means brag to your family about it after they check out.”

TheBlaze’s Dana Loesch interviewed Paffrath on Dana Tuesday. See the interview here:

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to indicate DHS told Drury Hotels it would pull the $150,000 contract if the hotel did not terminate Paffrath’s employment. The original report stated DHS pulled the contract before Paffrath’s termination.

(H/T: Argus Streaming News)

Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter

553 Comments