Illinois man who said he would 'kill' any Democrat has history of threatening, profane messages: feds

Illinois man who said he would 'kill' any Democrat has history of threatening, profane messages: feds

FBI seeks further info from public on Capitol riot

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The Illinois man accused of saying he would “kill any mother——- Democrat” at the end of December allegedly had a history of leaving “hateful and threatening” messages for members of Congress over the course of several years, recently released court papers state.

Louis Capriotti was arrested Tuesday for leaving a voicemail message for a U.S. House member from New Jersey, in which he threatened to “kill any motherf—— Democrat that steps on the motherf—— lawn” on Inauguration Day, according to the criminal complaint pertaining to his charges.

Earlier in the message, he said if people “think that [President-elect] Joe Biden is going to put his hand on the Bible and walk into that f—— White House on January 20th, they’re sadly f—— mistaken,” the papers state.

This 2014 booking photo provided by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, in Chicago, shows Louis Capriotti. (Cook County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
((Cook County Sheriff’s Office via AP))

Capriotti, a 45-year-old Chicago Heights man, was charged with transmission of a threat in interstate commerce in connection with the Dec. 29 voicemail. But charging documents show that was far from his first time leaving messages for members of Congress.

For months — starting as early as from October 2019 until the end of 2020 — Capriotti “called the Congressional Offices of multiple Members of Congress in Washington, D.C. and left disturbing, anonymous messages on the voicemail systems,” court papers show.

He would allegedly describe members of Congress using explicit language and pejorative terms and phrases about their race, political affiliation, appearance and religion “in almost every instance.”

Capriotti “often screamed while leaving the messages, [and] spoke of ‘rais[ing] mother f—— hell’ and referred to certain Members as ‘terrorists’ or ‘gun grabbing’,” court papers show.

Capriotti allegedly never identified himself in the voicemail, but described himself as a “nine-year Marine.” Phone records later led law enforcement to Capriotti.

When an FBI agent interviewed him in February 2020, he confirmed he had been leaving messages for members of Congress “for several months,” and had used a different phone prior to that to do the same, the criminal complaint states.

The FBI had met with Capriotti years earlier, in 2017, in connection with “similar calls” he was making to Congressional offices at the time, officials said.

After the agent played several voicemails dating back to 2017, Capriotti “repeatedly confirmed that the voice on the recordings was his and, also verified, that he had never served in the military,” court papers state.

Capriotti “also acknowledged that the voicemail messages he left in 2020 and years beforehand could be interpreted as hateful and threatening,” court papers show.

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 06: Protesters supporting U.S. President Donald Trump gather near the east front door of the U.S. Capitol after groups breached the building’s security on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

But his alleged voicemails continued, and his messages apparently escalated toward the end of 2020, when he allegedly left voicemails with three different Congress members on two separate instances.

On Nov. 18, he said in a message to a U.S. Representative from Michigan that he “had ‘killed’ several ‘terrorists’ in prior wars and that he ‘will continue to kill them because that’s what I am trained to do,’” court papers show.

He allegedly said he wasn’t from the state, was an active-duty Marine, and stated: “In the next couple weeks, some big news is about to go down.”

That same day, he told a different U.S. representative from Michigan much of the same details he told the other Michigan Congress member, but added that the person was “mistaken if they believed that ‘Biden’ and ‘Kamala Harris’ were ‘going to walk into the White House’ on that day,” the document states.

And on Dec. 4, Capriotti allegedly told a U.S. representative from Pennsylvania that they were mistaken if they thought Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were “going to walk into that f—— White House” on Inauguration Day. He concluded the message by stating: “may [the Congress member] choke in hell,” court papers state.

Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

During his Tuesday afternoon hearing in connection with the charges, Capriotti did not enter a plea and did not make any statements about the allegations. He confirmed to the judge he was on the remote call, and after the judge called a brief recess he could be heard on the line asking if his attorney had called his mother.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel A. Fuentes ordered him to remain in custody until a detention hearing on Friday.

His attorney, identified by the Chicago Tribune as Jack Corfman, could not immediately be reached for comment. 

Last week, hundreds of people – some armed with guns and zip ties – pushed their way into the halls of the U.S. Capitol, smashed or dismantled property and went into House and Senate leaders’ chambers. Meanwhile, Hill staffers and lawmakers were under lockdown, or hid behind chairs or under desks and tables.


Five people, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, died during or in connection with Wednesday’s events. 

Officials have made dozens of arrests so far and are pursuing further charges. The FBI said it has received more than 100,000 digital tips from the public in connection with the Capitol siege. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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