Popular Juneau children’s book illustrator arrested for terroristic threats against children


Perhaps he was trying to make it look like conservatives were being hateful or threatening toward transgender children. Or perhaps he was just trying to prove a point. Or was it dark humor, referencing a popular social media meme?

Whatever it was, Mitchell Thomas Watley, a popular children’s artist who lives in downtown Juneau, has been arrested for posting notes around town that indicated a credible threat against transgender children. The notes directly mentioned “feeling cute” and shooting children, and had some transgender imagery. It is not clear the threat was against transgender children, but the imagery suggests such.

A note was first discovered on March 31 at about 6:45 am at a business in the 600 block of Willoughby Ave.

With so much in the news about transgender ideology and children, and with the recent killing of children by a mentally deranged person in Nashville, police notified the Juneau School District about the issue. Then, at 12:15 p.m., police received a second report regarding a similar incident, this time on a bulletin board at the State Office Building, not far from the first note. The second note was turned in to building security, who notified police.

On April 2, two more notes were found, and police and the FBI were able to identify the man posting them, 47-year-old Watley, who was arrested later that day on 6th Street at a residence. He was being charged with one count of terroristic threatening in the 2nd degree, a class C felony offense. Watley was taken to the Lemon Creek Correctional Center and was listed as an inmate as of Tuesday morning.

Watley and his wife make popular children’s books, which she writes and he illustrates, notably, “I Would Tuck You In,” and “I Would Teach You To Fly.” He is published by Penguin Books. Both are part of the downtown liberal bloc that is in Precinct 2, one of the most progressive precincts in the entire state.

A popular meme called the “Feeling cute challenge” has made its way around social media and appears to have inspired the Juneau terroristic threat incident, an example of which follows:

The “Feeling cute challenge” is what the terroristic note was based on.


      • Without having the exact text, a picture would be better, there’s no way to tell if it is sarcastic, ironic, or in fact warning of a transperson shooting children, as opposed to the target being trans children.

        Reporting means reporting, not deciding what other people can or cannot handle. This is exactly the kind of disinformation technique, however unintentional, used by Left media. Imply things about a situation, but never actually report on it.

  1. What sick, sick, evil people. To even think like this just to stir up political trouble take a deranged and dangerous mind. It also proves just how underhanded the left can be to try and smear conservatives.

      • What is your source of information here local?
        If you are correct, he will have some hills to climb getting his career back on track as all the local book stores have removed everything he is listed on. Granted he likely has more important issues trying to stay out of prison and that doesn’t hinge on his politics IMO.

    • Mental illness has no party affiliation. See Donald Trump.

      Sadly, expect more of this, especially at the national level over the next year, as Donald Trump gets indicted in Atlanta and D.C. for multiple criminal acts.

      • So, let me get this right. According to you, more crazy/criminal types are going to be threatening our children for the next year because Trump was indicted. Right . . . .

        You are so very correct when you stated ‘Mental illness has no party affiliation’, and you are exhibit A.

        • Mr. Hayden clearly meant more “mental illness” to come from additional indictments Paul. Leave it to you to paint it as something sinister relative to “threatening our children,” when he didn’t mention this.
          Get a grip here!

          • ‘Sadly, expect more of this, especially at the national level over the next year, as Donald Trump gets indicted in Atlanta and D.C. for multiple criminal acts’

            His words not mine. And the subject of the article is threats to children.

          • OK Paul but you forgot his initial sentencea prior to your posted quote: “Mental illness has no party affiliation. See Donald Trump.”
            The question becomes what is the “this” in his quote and it’s clearly “mental illness.” You going to die on this hill Paul? Heheh!

          • I’ll speak slowly this time. Hayden did in fact take a jab at Trump and say that he was mentally ill. Then he stated that we should expect more of the same actions as from the perp in Juneau in the coming year. The reasoning being it would stem from the indictment of Trump.

            So, yes he did in fact try to blame any upcoming violence against children on Trumps indictment.

          • I guess we’ll just have to wait on Hayden’s take on what he meant. Until then it’s the only reasonable explanation (mental illness) for Watley that makes any sense IMO.
            Also, the judge required Watley to undergo a mental health exam.

          • Now the mental health screening I agree with. Just keep him under wraps until this investigation is completed. We have children to protect.

  2. What exactly did these friggin notes say ?? Ktuu posted a similar story with no info about what they say either..

    FYI Whatley it was a screwball tranny that murdered a bunch of innocents not the other way around.

  3. so was this guy pulling a smollett ? also how many trans children could there possibly be in Juneau

    • That’s what I’m guessing at this time, a “Smollet” (nicely well referenced). I’ll stereotype the downtown Juneau artist and assume he’s a raging leftist. The left has large accusations against conservative violence yet little to zero stats to back them up, so they make them up to prove their false narrative. This trend has been occurring across the entire nation for some time now.

    • They’re nit “unstable”. That describes “on the edge” and “not of strong constitution”. They’re actually already off the table. They’re ill. They’ve lost their identity, and are openly trying to establish a new one based upon completely false facts. Moreover, they’re trying to force everybody else to accept their fantasy by twisting law, social threats, and collective criminal coercion.
      The American Psychiatric Association holds the vast majority of the responsibility for this, and this also offers insight into their responsibility for many more of the social breakdowns based upon mental illness.

      • I couldn’t agree more Reggie. We’ve been witness to this behavior for well over a decade now. Whatever it takes to further a narrative/agenda.

  4. Interesting story, Suzanne. I bet this guy is trying to stage a hate attack by Conservatives. It’s devious work, posing as a Christian and conservative to instigate an investigation against them for threatening children. Wacked-out liberal Democrats know no bounds.

  5. If convicted, throw the book at him. Then put him under Lemon Creek.

    This helps nobody and plays into the hands of the Alphabet mafia.

  6. The beautiful illustrations betray a rare sensitivity for bonds in in wild animal families. He is probably shocked at the corrupting of natural human characteristics among the human species so in fashion in woke influential circles in our modern era and would like for it to stop because it is SO unnatural to harming the human young so as to interfere with and alter maturation processes is very frightening at the pace democrats insist that their young change from their natural selves especially in the natural settings. But no. Democrats are insistent that this harm be systemically injected and broadcast into the young at a fevered pace in Alaska for some wrong reason.

  7. You know what happened to Juneau – like its churches the people “died.” i thought about returning for visit (cause i missed auk bay) to quickly change my mind because of that juneau’s and the
    whole region’s depressive frame of mind and it made me resistent to bring m
    child back, i don’t need to see auk bay that badly. You know anchorage is heading juneau’s direction. but Anchorage still has a Church whose
    prayers provide the “fighting” resistence to keep it from plunging down the slope onto the valley of despair dragging the rest of alaska’s communities with her despair.

    • Jeff, here is the police report:
      On 03/31/2023, at about 6:45 a.m., the Juneau Police Department received a report from a business in the 600 block of Willoughby Ave, regarding a note being found in the store that indicated a possible general threat against children.

      JPD responded to the business and began investigating the threat. Although the note did not relay a specific threat, JPD notified the Juneau School District about the issue.

      At about 12:15 p.m., JPD received a second report regarding a similar incident. A note was found on a bulletin board at the State Office Building. The note was turned in to building security, who notified JPD.

      The Juneau School District and JPD are working closely while this investigation is underway. Prior to these reports, a plan for additional police presence had been implemented at the schools due to national rallies/attention to recent school violence incidents. Officers are actively working to investigate the situation.

      If you see or hear something, please say something. It is important to share information in order to protect our community and promote school safety. Anyone with information regarding these notes is encouraged to contact JPD on our business line at (907) 586-0600. Anonymous tips can be made at http://www.Juneaucrimeline.com.

      *** Updated 04/02/2023 at 9:55 p.m. ***

      On 04/02/2023, at about 9:23 a.m., JPD received a report of two similar notes being found at a business in the 5200 block of Commercial Blvd. Responding officers were able to identify a man who was believed to be involved in passing the notes, 47-year-old Juneau resident Mitchell Thomas Watley.

      At about 7:00 p.m., JPD, located Watley at a residence on 6th Street. During the investigation, which involved assistance from the FBI, Watley was placed under arrest for one count of Terroristic Threatening in the 2nd degree, a class C felony offense. Watley was taken to the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

      This investigation is ongoing.

      All factual allegations contained in this release are based upon preliminary investigation and are subject to change or clarification as the investigation continues. Any charges reported in this release are merely accusations and all persons named in this release are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

      • The note was not targeting trans-children (whatever that means), which is the biggest error in your reporting. It’s all so confusing.

          • This is from the article in Juneau Empire Monday, 6:46PM: “Officers spoke to Mitchell, who said (in essence) that he was in fear of the recent transgender school shooter and took it upon himself to print out and distribute these leaflets,” the official complaint states.

      • The Zodiac also talked about picking off the little kiddies as they got off their school buses in the Bay Area.

  8. Another fake hate crime by a liberal trying to frame conservatives. What a spectacular fail. This guy should change his name to Jussie Smollett. When will the idiot Dems ever learn?

      • It’ll be very difficult to provide solid, reliable statistics Mark. For one thing Marxists and their naive fledglings are rarely charged with crimes with “hate” (as ambiguous as that is) as a motive (mens rea). It’s almost unheard of because everyone knows Marxists abide by the creed live and let live, are filled with love and are mostly peaceful as long as there’s a steady flow of “free” stuff, no feelings were hurt and no misgendering occurs. Hope this helps.

  9. Don’t care what this guys story is or what his politics are. Keep him off the street until it can be determined if he’s a threat or not. He wasn’t just threatening people in general, he was specifically targeting kids.

    • Guilt by association is no way to think. If it was, all mass murderers committing death and destruction with assault rifles would be right-wingers.

  10. Everyone is at risk from authoritarian, self-righteous, God-deniers gone astray especially in governmint. Why invest (your life and your kids) in this abject, whimsical Alaskan stupidity. Foolish.

  11. Maureen I’m an eye for an eye guy. I want facts. If this clown was actually threatening kids he won’t last long in jail anyway. People are so hypersensitive it’s had to get to the bottom of anything. We live in a country that has lost its sense of humor , sexuality & it’s direction. The end game direction we are headed is a complete loss of freedom when that finally happens everyone looses.

  12. Mental illness is sad. It’s even more sad when other humans who believe themselves to be well-balanced individuals, attempt to pin crimes of humanity on a political affiliation.

  13. People just want freedom from threat or harm, or the freedom to be able to express themselves in peace, and carry on with the necessary duties of providing for their family and loved ones in society. Most, at least two-thirds (the majority) of us just want to live our lives, and don’t want to have to worry about extremists of any variety infringing on our freedom. It’s not a matter of being called anything or shoving someone’s agenda down our throat, but just getting along.

    Some of the weird stuff is a result of thinking our freedom is being taken from us — based on a fear, and that ‘fear’ needs to be gently redirected to a place where it can be seen for real that the majority of don’t want interlopers to intrude on our personal interests, integrity, and threaten our freedom with froufrou chaos.

    It would seem as if this joker writing the notes just got something off-kilter, and no one’s told him in not-so-many words that when he woke on the wrong side of the bed that morning, or has caught a very bad case of spring fever, or has let his blood sugar get out of control, or something that is blocking his usual judgment… the situation isn’t righting itself, he is scaring others with threatening actions, and he really does need to get to the point of apology for this unhelpful behavior.

    Again, I don’t think it’s a matter of a specific or particular agenda, but an instance of our Alaskan gift of freedom, being used vicariously to infringe on other’s freedom from fear.

  14. Looks like Mr Watley will be “transitioning” straight into jail. Well done JPD. Prosecute to the full extent allowed by law.

  15. One thing for certain. He’s guilty until proven innocent. And that comes straight from the top.

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