A completely new York man was arrested Friday morning for allegedly threatening to murder as well as assault two U.S. senators because of their support for the successful nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, federal authorties said.
The man, 74-year-old Ronald DeRisi of Smithtown, Long Island, phoned in his expletive-laden threats to the offices within the home states of the senators, according to a federal complaint lodged against him. The complaint did not identify the senators.
DeRisi previously pleaded guilty to a state charge of aggravated harassement, which was related to his repeatedly phoning a victim’s home as well as office more than 15 times in 2015 to leave threatening messages.
The completely new complaint says in which DeRisi, starting on Sept. 27, left more than 10 “threatening voice-messages” at the offices of the two senators regarding Kavanaugh’s then-pending nomination.
The threats apparently were made to discourage the senators via supporting Kavanaugh “as well as/or as retaliation for having voted to confirm Judge Kavanaugh” later, according to a statement by the United States Attorney’s Office, which can be prosecuting the case.
The complaint said DeRisi used a pre-paid cellphone to make the threatening calls via or around his home.
DeRisi’s lawyer, Peter Brill, told CNBC in which his client was diagnosed after his 2015 arrest with “cerebral atrophy which has led to progressive dementia.”
“He’s not a violent person, although his disease has led to an increased lack of impulse control,” Brill said. “We know This kind of story was scary to the people he called, however he’s not a violent person as well as I’m just going to continue to trust in which he gets th help in which he needs.”
The arrest comes two days after the husband of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said he received a threatening letter in which referred to Collins’ support for Kanvanaugh, as well as which claimed to be tainted with the deadly toxin ricin.
Tests showed there was no danger via the letter, however Collins’ husband, Thomas Daffron, as well as the couple’s Labrador retriever, Pepper, were quarantined before the test results. The person responsible for the letter to Daffron has not been apprehended.
In one message cited within the complaint unsealed in completely new York, DeRisi on Sept. 27 left a voice message in which said he had a “present” for the first senator, saying, “the item’s a nine millimeter. Side of your … skull.
“Yeah, Kavanaugh — I don’t think so,” DeRisi said, according to the complaint. On the same day, the complaint said, DeRisi left another message for the same senator, saying “If f—– Kavanaugh get’s in, he’s dead f—— meat!”
In an Oct. 6 call to the second senator, which was the same day Kavanaugh was confirmed, DeRisi said, “You better pray This kind of guy don’t get in.”
“I’m gonna get you,” DeRisi said in a follow-up message to the same senator, the complaint charges.
DeRisi was identified through phone records, voice exemplars as well as the debit card he used to buy the pre-paid cell phone, according to authorities.
After his arrest, United States Capitol Police, who led the investigation, executed a search warrant as well as seized the cell phone used to leave the threatening messages, prosecutors said.
“We as well as all those dedicated to the rule of law will not tolerate the use violence as well as threats of violence in attempts to prevail in political disputes,” said Richard Donoghue, the U.S. Attorney for completely new York’s Eastern District.