FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) - For the first time, the man featured in a viral video who is accused of threatening mask supporters is answering questions from News4.
Rod Lunn is the man seen in the video wearing a black shirt. He tells News4 he has remained silent since the heated meeting, which even prompted outrage from President Joe Biden.
It took one cell phone recording of Lunn shouting at a mask supporter to put him in the center of the national debate on masks in schools.
“You said some things in that video like 'We know who you are' and 'You’ll never be allowed in public again,' would you categorize that as a threat to that person?" News4’s Marissa Sulek asked Lunn in an exclusive interview with News4.
“That is in no way a threat,” Lunn responded.
“How would you explain your behavior in that video?” Sulek asked.
“The reality is, it looks bad and I understand,” Lunn says. “But we aren’t being listened to. We’re just being told what to do.”
Lunn says he got angry because parents who oppose the mask mandate weren’t being heard at the meeting.
“Do you have kids in the school district at all?” News4 asked.
“I don’t,” Lunn said. “I actually don’t have kids.”
Lunn says he felt it was his civic duty to attend the meeting and see what was going on. After the school board voted to mandate masks for elementary schools, the crowd spilled out into the parking lot and Lunn started being recorded.
“The situation was more controlled than it looks like,” says Lunn. “I know that sounds crazy.”
“There is a completely other side of the story and I think that will unfold and there’s more video coming out of events and things that transpired,” Lunn adds.
For instance, Lunn says the other side of the story is on the other side of the car in the video. He says the driver, trying to leave, almost hit a child in the parking lot. But Lunn’s statements came before that near accident when he says he reached his boiling point.
“As mad as I seem, I’m a fiery guy at times because I’m passionate about things,” Lunn comments. While Lunn defends his actions in the video, that doesn’t mean he’s willing to watch it again.
“I just want to get your take on the video – do you mind if we watch it together really quick?” News4’s Marissa Sulek asked.
“I would rather not,” Lunn replied.
Lunn says since the incident he and his parents have gotten death threats. He says packages with suspicious powders have been mailed to him. He says he’s talking with Williamson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the meeting.