Politics

Syracuse Man Charged With Threatening to Kill Katko

Threats stemmed from concern over net neutrality repeal

An upstate New York man allegedly left a voicemail with Rep. John Katko’s office threatening to kill him and his family if he did not support net neutrality. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The FBI and U.S. Capitol Police have arrested a Syracuse, New York, man Wednesday for making death threats against Rep. John Katko and his family.

Investigators have charged Patrick D. Angelo, 28, with threatening a federal official for allegedly leaving a voicemail on Oct. 19 saying if Katko, an Upstate New York Republican, did not support net neutrality, he would “find you and your family and… kill…you…all.”

Katko’s office turned the voicemail over to the USCP, which coordinated an investigation with the FBI and local New York authorities to find Angelo.

“All threats are reported to the U.S. Capitol Police in order to ensure the safety of Rep. Katko, his family, and staff,” Katko spokeswoman Erin O’Connor said in a statement. “The Congressman and his family appreciate the diligent work of our local, state and federal law enforcement in monitoring these threats and taking appropriate action.”

Below is a transcript of the voicemail first provided to WGRZ in New York by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of New York:

“Listen Mr. Katko, if you support net neutrality, I will support you. But if you don’t support net neutrality, I will find you and your family and I will kill…you…all. Do you understand? I will literally find all…of…you and your progeny and t- just wipe you from the face of the earth. Net neutrality is more important than the defense of the United States. Net neutrality is more important than free speech. Net neutrality is more important than health care. Net neutrality is literally the basis of the new society. That even if you don’t understand, how important it is, net neutrality is literally the basis of the new…free…society. So if you don’t support it, I am willing to lay down my li- (recording ends).”

Net neutrality refers to the idea that all Internet service providers must provide free and open access to all forms of content without purposely slowing transfer of certain files or communications.

“While citizens are certainly entitled to communicate their views on issues of importance,” U.S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr. said of Angelo’s threats, “...there are and must be bounds to the manner in which such views may be expressed.”

Angelo appeared before a federal magistrate on Wednesday and is being held until his detention hearing on Dec. 1.

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