Authorities in Florida say a Polk County man was arrested on suspicion of posting threatening social media messages aimed at Democrats and “weak” Republicans who had expressed concerns about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The suspect was identified as 53-year-old James Patrick Jr.
According to police reports, he made a series of threats late last month in which he said he would target the lawmakers he would hold responsible if the Kavanaugh confirmation falls apart.
“I can tell it seems I will be sacrificing my life for my country,” Patrick allegedly wrote on Facebook. “But I am ready and will know who needs to be killed after the vote to put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. I believe democrats [sic] need to [be] made to be afraid to do what they are doing right now and weak republicans [sic] that do not vote for him need to pay with their lives.”
That post was one of several that authorities said Patrick shared in recent weeks, including a 2017 post he shared again on Sept. 17 that advocated “conservatives going into liberals’ homes at night killing them in their sleep!”
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd denounced the violent rhetoric, telling reporters that the suspect’s posts indicate he is “capable of committing mass murder.”
Patrick, who is facing one criminal count of written threats to kill or injure, reportedly told investigators that he did not intend to follow through with his threats. As of the latest reports available, he remained behind bars with bond set at $500,000.