‘Activist’ accused of threatening Rep. Snyder now in Martin County Jailby George Bennett | February 9th, 2011
Pintado was arrested in Massachusetts on Jan. 31, then released on his own recognizance by a Massachusetts judge on Monday with orders to fly to Florida to face charges. The Martin County Sheriff’s Office said two deputies arrested Pintado “without incident” this morning at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers.On Jan. 8 — shortly after the assassination attempt on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., in which six others were killed — Snyder received an unsigned e-mail that said: “You better just stop that ridiculous law if you value you rand your familie’s lives (expletive).”
Snyder has proposed a law cracking down on illegal immigration in Florida similar to a controversial measure in Arizona.
The Martin County Sheriff’s Office said detectives determined the Jan. 8 e-mail was sent by Pintado from a Starbucks near his home in Northampton, Mass. The sheriff’s report said Northampton police interviewed Pintado and he admitted sending the e-mail. The report said Pintado described himself as a “political activist” who believed Snyder was trying to abolish the 14th Amendment, which states that all persons born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens.
The sheriff’s report said Pintado told the Northampton police he didn’t intend to harm Snyder, but was “glad the e-mail made him nervous.”
An article on Pintado this week in the University of Massachusetts Daily Collegian says friends and relatives describe Pintado as “an amiable pacifist with a passion for immigrants’ rights and state support of public higher education, though they said he suffers from anxiety and could sometimes become swept up in his own dedication and act excitedly.”
The article quotes Pintado’s son-in-law as saying Pintado did something dumb, “right up there with all the teenagers who call in fake bomb threats to their junior high schools and people like Sharron Angle who call for citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights, or Sarah Palin or people who show up to political rallies with nooses and shotguns, but he is not a killer, not even close.”
In Martin County, Pintado is charged with corruption by threat and written threat to kill or do bodily injury and is being held on a $450,000 bond.