Louis Capriotti Chicago Heights man charged w/ threatening to kill Democrats during Biden inauguration. A history of ongoing violent threats.
An Illinois man was arrested Tuesday after allegedly threatening to kill Democrats during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington D.C. next week, federal prosecutors said.
Louis Capriotti, 45, is accused of making the threat in a Dec. 29 voicemail to a US House member from New Jersey, according to a criminal complaint filed on Tuesday in US District Court in Chicago.
He allegedly stated that if certain individuals ‘think that Joe Biden is going to put his hand on the Bible and walk into that f—ing White House on January 20th, they’re sadly f—ing mistaken.’
Adding, ‘We will surround the motherf—ing White House and we will kill any motherf—ing Democrat that steps on the motherf—ing lawn.’
Capriotti, of Chicago Heights, a Chicago suburb, also called several members of Congress between October 2019 and January 2020, leaving ‘disturbing, anonymous messages’ to members of Congress, the complaint states.
A history of making violent threats against Democrats
Nearly all the voicemails ‘included profanity, along with derogatory remarks concerning the race, religion, political affiliation, or physical appearance of certain members and others.’
FBI agents told Capriotti he needed to stop making threatening calls, and warned him in the beginning of 2020 that he could face charges if he continued.
Even so, Capriotti continued making threatening calls to members of Congress for months.
Come Tuesday, Capriotti was charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce in relation to the Dec 29th threat. A judge ordered him held in custody at least until a detention hearing Friday, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
A federal judge ordered Capriotti to remain in custody pending a detention hearing, scheduled for Friday morning, after federal prosecutors argued he was a danger to the community, because he is charged with a “crime of violence.’ according to CBS Chicago.
He faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison if convicted.
‘Our office takes the security of our public servants very seriously,’ US Attorney John R. Lausch Jr. said in a statement.
Bracing for threat of future violence
‘Individuals who cross the line of free speech by making unlawful threats will be held accountable.’
Capriotti’s arrest comes less than a week after a mob of President Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol as Congress began formally counting the Electoral College votes to certify Biden’s win. Five people died in the riot.
Authorities have expressed concern about more violence erupting in the lead-up to and during Biden’s inauguration and Trump on Monday approved an emergency declaration to boost security in the nation’s capital.
So far, 70 people have been charged federally for crimes related to last Wednesday’s storming. Cases are expected to rise in the coming weeks.
An FBI memo reportedly warned that armed protests are expected at all 50 state capitols plus DC, up through to Inauguration Day.