A man at his home was arrested Friday afternoon after he threatened to kill supporters of President Donald Trump and Rep. Lee Zeldin, R–N.Y., and he almost hit a Zeldin campaign staffer with his car, according to The Washington Examiner.
The 75-year-old Long Island native, Marin Astrof, “became irate” at Zeldin’s campaign headquarters in Suffolk County Friday morning, according to Suffolk County police, according to The Washington Examiner.
The New York Post reported that Astrof said he would kill Donato Panico, who works for Zeldin as a campaign staffer, along with other Zeldin and Trump supporters. According to local police, the man then proceeded to back “his car up in an aggressive manner nearly striking the worker.”
“In the US, political scores are settled at the ballot box, not by trying to kill your political opponents,” Zeldin, a vocal Trump supporter, tweeted in response to the attack. “Donato Panico is a great American, supporter of @realDonaldTrump & one of my campaign vols. He shouldn’t have been targeted like this today for his passion & involvement.”
Panico attended Trump’s State of the Union address earlier this year as one of Zeldin’s guests, where people paid their respects to him for his efforts to feed Ground Zero workers during the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks, The Washington Examiner reports.
Astrof should be arraigned Saturday on the felony charge of making a terroristic threat. An additional charge of second-degree reckless endangerment charge faces him too, according to The Washington Examiner.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and his family said Monday they received threats from a person who said he would chop them up with an ax, and the suspect was arrested this week, according to The Washington Examiner.
Administration officials have been confronted in public places by people who want to hold them accountable for things like the policy that separated migrant families at the border and for rampant corruption and failure to protect the environment, in the case of now-former Environmental Protection Administration head Scott Pruitt. While those displays of protest were done against top officials and done so relatively peacefully, threats and attacks like this one on Zeldin and his campaign staffer are of a very different variety, which is why law enforcement quickly stepped in.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Pruitt were all harassed in restaurants and either asked to leave, were forced out by protesters, or were told to resign.