Authorities have announced the arrest of a Florida man who is suspected of plotting to target government officials for assassination if Judge Brett Kavanaugh is denied a promotion to the U.S. Supreme Court bench.
Deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office took 53-year-old James Patrick into custody five hours after they were tipped off about a series of violent threats that have been detected on his Facebook page, early Thursday, October 4. Details on the sting have yet been fully disclosed, but by press time the public was informed that threats to trade fire with law enforcement was taken into consideration when approaching the arrest. In addition, early reports published by The Ledger confirm that the raid on Patrick’s home indeed turned up weapons and ammunition.
At the heart of suspicions that Patrick posed a credible threat to public safety were a number of FB status updates and photographs that proved increasingly hostile, graphic, and explicit over the past week.
In one of the more recent instances, Patrick suggested that the wellbeing of Kavanaugh’s opposition hinged on whether or not he could successfully state his case before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Kav’s a** whipping to these senators may just keep them alive,” he is recalled writing. The statement was published to Patrick’s page a short time after he vowed to sacrifice his life because “democrats need to [sic] made to be afraid to do what they are doing right now and weak republicans that do not vote for him need to pay with their lives.”
While the timing of Patrick’s arrest would seem to indicate that the aforementioned remarks were the final straw for whomever subsequently blew the whistle on him, some of his previous posts were far more alarming.
On September 18, Patrick spoke of “a new plan” to go after Democrats, liberal talk show hosts, and the families of select officials should the committee fail to push Kavanaugh’s confirmation through. Then between the 21st and 22nd of September, Patrick reiterated plans to put his home up for sale with the aim of pulling funds together to carry out an attack. He’d conclude the latter of those two posts by declaring that he was prepared to go out guns blazing after having “just cleaned out the gun shop where I get guns ammo and target practice.”
A couple of days later, Patrick went so far as to put up a photo of one of the hollow-tip bullets he purchased. In the caption, the Winter Haven resident claimed to have made arrangements for the care of his pets and reinforced a tunnel beneath his house with even more ammunition in preparation for a showdown.
Patrick is thus far being charged with writing a threat to kill or injure. His bail has been set at $500,000.