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Chicago Heights man arrested for allegedly threatening violence at Biden inauguration

A suburban Chicago man was arrested Tuesday on a federal criminal charge for allegedly threatening to commit violence at the upcoming presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C.

Officials from the Office of the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, the FBI and the Secret Service announced on Tuesday that Louis Capriotti, 45, has been charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce.

Capriotti was arrested near his home Tuesday morning.  

In a Dec. 29, 2020, voicemail for a U.S. House of Representative 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 House on January 20th, they’re sadly [expletive] mistaken.”  

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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. 

“Our office takes the security of our public servants very seriously,” said U.S. Attorney John R. Lausch. “Individuals who cross the line of free speech by making unlawful threats will be held accountable.” 

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.

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. 

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