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New York Senior Citizen Arrested For Making Death Threats Against Senators Who Supported Kavanaugh

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter

A New York man was arrested Friday for making death threats to two unnamed senators, who supported the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, in phone calls dating back as far as Sept. 27.

Ronald DeRisi, 74, left more than 10 expletive-laced, threatening phone messages, prosecutors said according to USA Today. He allegedly talked about making a senator a “dead man” with a “9 millimeter” in the “side of the head,” in a Sept. 27 phone call to one of the senators, reported Politico.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh (L) participates in a ceremonial swearing in by retired Justice Anthony Kennedy (R) as President Donald Trump, Kavanaugh's wife Ashley, youngest daughter Liza and oldest daughter Margaret look on in the East Room of the White House October 08, 2018 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh (L) participates in a ceremonial swearing in by retired Justice Anthony Kennedy (R) as President Donald Trump, Kavanaugh’s wife Ashley, youngest daughter Liza and oldest daughter Margaret look on in the East Room of the White House Oct. 08, 2018 in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

“Yeah, Kavanaugh — I don’t think so,” DeRisi said at the end of the call, prosecutors said according to USA Today.

DeRisi is scheduled for a federal court appearance Friday afternoon, reported USA Today. His attorney said he has dementia and is “not dangerous to anybody, [though] we can understand his actions were scary,” reported Politico.

He left a series of messages for a different senator on Oct. 6, the prosecutors said.

They reportedly included phrases like:

  • “You better pray this guy don’t get in.”
  • “I’m gonna get you.”

Federal investigators tracked DeRisi down through “telephone records and voice samples,” prosecutors said according to USA Today. He was found in Smithtown, New York, where he resides in Long Island. U.S. Capitol Police reportedly seized the cellphone DeRisi used to make the calls.

DeRisi allegedly pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated harassment in the second degree in 2015 for threatening another victim with similar phone messages, according to Mike Balsamo of The Associated Press.

Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court on Oct. 6. Christine Blasey Ford alleges Kavanaugh pinned her down and attempted to remove her clothing when they were both minors. Kavanaugh has continued to deny any allegations of sexual assault.

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