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Actor gets threats from Oberlin resident

OBERLIN — Police launched a local investigation after actor Richard Roundtree was threatened by an Oberlin resident, but Oberlin Police Chief Tom Miller said the threats don’t appear to be credible. 

Roundtree, who lives in Toluca Lake, Calif., is best known for his role as private detective John Shaft in the 1971 film “Shaft” and its two sequels. Roundtree reportedly received several threatening letters from an Oberlin resident — one of which detailed that Roundtree would have his “throat cut” and that he would be “dropped into the Pacific Ocean to be eaten by sharks” if he were to work with certain directors.

Oberlin police were contacted by the Threat Management Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department on July 22 in regards to the communications, in which the Oberlin resident warned Roundtree to stay away from his wife or he would get his “head cut off.”

Roundtree contacted police after receiving letters from the Oberlin man on July 15 and 17, in which the man signs the handwritten letters that contain a return address on West College Street.

Oberlin police contacted the suspect at the address, but Miller said the man was a patient at the Nord Center. He was not charged because of his mental state, and Miller said the threats do not appear to be credible.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or

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