Man arrested for threatening to “kill Democrats” at Biden inauguration

Illinois resident Louis Capriotti allegedly warned “We will surround the motherf—ing White House” in voicemail left for U.S. House member.


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mugshot of Louis Capriotti
Louis Capriotti
(Cook County Sheriff’s Office/AP)

As the fallout from last week’s deadly Capitol riots continues, one thing seems clear – putting the insurrectionist genie back in the bottle is no easy task.

An Illinois man was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly threatened to kill Democrats at President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in Washington D.C. next week.

45-year-old Louis Capriotti is accused of making the threat in a Dec. 29 voicemail left for a U.S. House member from New Jersey, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Capriotti allegedly warned in the message that if people “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.”

“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 suburb of the Windy City, has a history of leaving “disturbing, anonymous messages” for members of Congress dating to at least 2017, the 11-page complaint alleges.

Almost all the voicemails “included profanity, along with derogatory remarks concerning the race, religion, political affiliation, or physical appearance of certain [Congress] members and others,” the complaint states.

Capriotti was charged with one count of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, which carries a potential punishment of up to five years in prison.

A judge ordered him held in custody pending a detention hearing Friday, The Chicago Tribune reported.

“Our office takes the security of our public servants very seriously,” U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch Jr. said in a statement.

“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 pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, interrupting the congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College win and leading to the loss of five lives.

Amidst concerns about further violence, security at Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20 was boosted by an emergency declaration for Washington D.C. issued by President Trump Monday.

An internal FBI bulletin obtained by ABC News warns that armed protests are being planned at all 50 state capitols and the U.S. Capitol from this week through to Inauguration Day.

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