MORRISTOWN, NJ – A suburban Chicago man was arrested today on a federal criminal charge for allegedly threatening to commit violence at the upcoming presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C.
Louis Capriotti, 45, of Chicago Heights, Ill., was charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Capriotti was arrested near his home this morning. He is scheduled to make an initial court appearance today at 3:30 p.m. CST before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel A. Fuentes.
The complaint and arrest were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and Christopher Diiorio, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Secret Service Chicago Field Office. The U.S. Capital Police provided valuable assistance in the investigation. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney William Dunne.
In a Dec. 29, 2020, voicemail for a U.S. House member from New Jersey, Capriotti allegedly stated that if certain individuals “think that Joe Biden is going to put his hand on the Bible and walk into that [expletive] White Houseon January 20th, they’re sadly [expletive] mistaken.” Capriotti further stated in the voicemail, “We will surround the [expletive] White House and we will kill any [expletive] Democrat that steps on the [expletive] lawn,” the complaint alleges. According to the complaint, Capriotti has a history of leaving profane voicemails for members of Congress.
In that voicemail, he is also alleged to have said, he wanted to “Put one right in Christie’s dome”.
“Law enforcement kept me and my family appropriately aware of the threat and we are relieved that Mr. Capriotti is now in custody,” Christie said in a statement about the incident after the arrest was made. Christie served as U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, now finds himself on the victim end of the legal process.
“Our office takes the security of our public servants very seriously,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “Individuals who cross the line of free speech by making unlawful threats will be held accountable.”
The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The charge in the complaint is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.