Utah man accused of threatening to kill members of Congress
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah man has been arrested on accusations he threatened to kill members of Congress during a three-year stretch with more than 2,000 phone calls to the U.S. Capitol and profanity-laden tirades about Democrats threatening the presidency of Donald Trump.
In one call last month, Scott Brian Haven dialed the office of an unnamed U.S. representative and purported to be standing right behind him and ready to “shoot him in the head” because “the Russians want him taken out because he is trying to remove a duly elected President,” according to charging documents unsealed Wednesday.
Haven, 54, said, “I’m going to do it now, are you ready?” before hanging up, prosecutors allege.
He was arrested Tuesday in his hometown of Kaysville, Utah, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City. He is charged with interstate transmission of threats to injure. State online records indicate he has no criminal history in Utah.
Haven’s court-appointed attorney, Robert Steele, did not immediately return phone and email messages seeking comment.
At his initial hearing Wednesday, a magistrate judge ordered Haven to remain jailed pending the outcome of the case, calling him a danger to the community.
Haven commonly alluded to him and other gun owners taking matters into their own hands, charging documents show.
He told a staffer for an unnamed senator in September 2018 that there were “far more Second Amendment people than whiny, crying liberals,” the documents said.
He called back the next month to the same office and said, “We will exercise our Second Amendment rights to address Democrat mobs that threaten conservatives,” according to the documents.
Haven threatened to cut off the heads of two senators in another call and in yet another one identified himself as Hitler and yelled repeatedly he would “put a bullet” in the head of the senator, the documents said.
The names and political affiliations of the members of Congress who were threatened are not included in the charging documents.
Melodie Rydalch, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah, said Thursday she could not provide details beyond what were in the legal documents.
When a federal law enforcement agent confronted Haven last summer about his calls, Haven threatened to beat up the agent. Haven also denied making some of the calls and told the agent that he should be investigating groups like Black Lives Matter.