A 74-year-old Long Island man was arrested on Friday after being charged with giving two US Senators death threats in retaliation for supporting Brett M. Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.
The man, Ronald DeRisi, threatened to assassinate and assassinate senators – who were not named – in more than 10 voicemail messages left to their offices following a complaint prepared by the United States Capitol Police.
The voicemail news, Mr. DeRisi, who comes from Smithtown, New York, used threats of assault adulterated to stop senators approving Judge Kavanaugh's nomination and then admonished one for it, it was said in the complaint
Following a search warrant, investigators at Mr. DeRisi found ammunition for a 9-millimeter cannon at home, Marzulli said. They found a BB gun in the house, but no firearms, he said.
Peter De Bris, Mr. DeRisis lawyer, said his client had a serious dementia that led to a pattern of behavioral problems.
"He has to the point where he is unable to understand right and wrong," said Mr. Brill. "He does not have full control over his abilities."
One of the senators received the first of two voicemail messages on September 27, threatening to shoot the officer in the head with a 9-millimeter cannon. Mr Brill said his client owned firearms but gave them to a family member.
On October 6, the day of the Senate's confirmation vote, the other Senator received a voicemail message warning, "Pray better do not let this boy go in," the complaint said. Less than an hour later, the same caller left a voicemail message in which he read the Senator's home address.
Two days after Judge Kavanaugh was confirmed, the same senator received a message saying, "Thank you … we now have a sex offender at the Supreme Court." This Senator received 10 voicemail messages from the same person, it said in the ad.
The Kavanaugh nomination became a contentious partisan fight after being accused by several women of sexual assault and sexual misconduct. He rejected the allegations. During tense voting, the Capitol Police strengthened security for senators, such as Susan Collins of Maine, who were undecided.
The Capitol Police used the voice recordings and telephone records to determine the calls made by Mr. DeRisi The complaint. A spokeswoman for the Capitol Police would not comment on the case.
The threat to kill a US official is a federal crime with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
In 2011, Mr. DeRisi was arrested after using a decorative samurai sword to cut cables on a cell tower near his home, Mr. Brill said. He was released early from the probationary period, Mr. Brill said.
Mr. DeRisi was also arrested in 2015 after allegedly threatening a lawyer for a homeowners' association with whom he had a dispute, Mr Brill said. This case did not result in a jail sentence, he noted.
After the incident in 2015, Mr. Brill said that a psychological examination revealed that Mr. DeRisi had brain atrophy that was likely to affect his actions.
In a statement released Friday, Richard P. Donoghue, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said law enforcement agencies would not tolerate threats of violence to win a political row.
"Representative democracy can not work if elected officials are threatened death for simply their work," he said.