A Colorado man, 44-year-old John Troy Davis, has been arrested for allegedly threatening Democratic Senator Michael Bennet’s staff in Denver last Thursday, January 6, two days before Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was critically injured in a shooting in Tucson that left six dead and 14 wounded. Reports of the threats against Sen. Bennet have surfaced at a time when, in the wake of the shooting in Tucson, many lawmakers are making changes to their security arrangements. At least two lawmakers, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) say that they will be carrying guns in their home districts. (Politico)
A felony complaint was filed against Davis on Friday. The Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained an arrest warrant for him and he was taken into custody by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation on the same day.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit cited in the Denver Post, Davis called Sen. Bennet’s office on Thursday ‘upset’ over his social security benefits. During the call, Davis said that he ‘”may go to terrorism.”‘ He is also alleged to have said,
“To get your attention, I will go down there and set fire to the perimeter.”
And, in a call several days earlier, Davis had said, “I’m just going to come down there and shoot you all,” while complaining about social security benefits, according to the affidavit.
During one call, Davis referred to himself as mentally ill, saying,
“I’m a schizophrenic and I need help.”
The Denver Post reported that Bennet’s staff had set up a hearing earlier to discuss Davis’s Social Security benefits, but he did not attend. Davis had repeatedly called Sen. Bennet’s office last month and made threats. And, back in July, he had been arrested on a drug charge that was subsequently dismissed.
The threats resulted in Security was increased around Bennet’s office and his home in Denver.
Davis faces ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
There is ‘no indication of any connection’ between the shooting of Rep. Giffords and the threats to Sen. Bennet, according to the Associated Press (via Politico).
Photo by Center for American Progress.