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Maryland man charged with threatening Biden, Harris in letter on supporter's doorstep - Metro US

Maryland man charged with threatening Biden, Harris in letter on supporter’s doorstep

Handmade signs of support for U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in rural Wisconsin

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged a Maryland man with threatening Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris in a letter left on the doorstep of a someone with a yard sign supporting their campaign.

James Dale Reed, 42, of Frederick, is accused of leaving the handwritten letter that issued a warning to supporters of the Democratic candidates.

“We have a list of homes and addresses by your election signs,” the letter said. “We are the ones with those scary guns, We are the ones your children have nightmares about … When We capture Grandpa Biden We will all severely beat him to the point of death.”

The letter also threatened an act of sexual violence against Harris.

The person who received the letter, who prosecutors did not identify, does not know Reed, but had Biden-Harris yard signs.

The case against Reed comes at the same time that civil rights groups have warned about the potential for armed civilians at polling places sparking violence or trying to illegally intimidate voters.

In Minnesota, civil rights groups sued to block efforts by a private security company to deploy armed polling monitors, while in Michigan, people will be banned from carrying guns near polling places.

“The right to vote and peacefully support the candidate of your choice are bedrocks of our democracy,” Robert Hur, the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland, said in a statement. “We will not tolerate threatening conduct that seeks to intimidate, harass or dissuade Americans from exercising their right to vote.”

The Justice Department said investigators were able to identify Reed thanks to a Ring door camera.

It was not immediately clear whether Reed had retained an attorney.

Prosecutors said Reed on Oct. 13 denied leaving the letter but two days later admitted to it.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Scott Malone and Richard Chang)

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