By Serena Maria Daniels
DETROIT (Reuters) – A Detroit-area man has been accused of threatening to behead a New York City police officer whose fatal choke-hold on an unarmed black man led to protests around the United States over police use of force.
Alvaro Eduardo Guzman-Telles, of Hamtramck, is accused in a federal indictment of posting the threat on Facebook in mid- December against New York City Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was not charged in the death of Eric Garner.
According to FBI Special Agent Juan Herrera, Guzman-Telles posted on Facebook that, “I’m going to personally kill and behead Daniel Pantaleo. This is a written threat and has to be taken extremely seriously.”
The indictment filed Jan. 27 in U.S. District Court in Detroit charges Guzman-Telles with threatening to injure using interstate communications. His attorney, James C. Thomas, declined to comment on the case Wednesday.
Pantaleo was the officer who put Eric Garner in a chokehold during an arrest on July 17 that led to Garner’s death. A grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo in Garner’s death, leading to protests around the United States over police use of force.
According to Herrera’s statement, Guzman-Telles’s mother, Norma Telles, told FBI agents she was aware of the Facebook comments and had advised her son to take them down.
In another post, he had written, “Kill all cops on sight. No matter the circumstances.”
Guzman-Telles has no criminal history, but has three handguns registered under his name, according to court papers.
He had an initial appearance in court on Tuesday and a detention hearing has been scheduled for Friday. Guzman-Telles could be sentenced to up to five years in prison if convicted.
(Editing by David Bailey and Eric Walsh)