Massachusetts ‘activist’ arrested for e-mail threat to state Rep. Snyderby George Bennett | February 1st, 2011
A self-described Massachusetts “political activist” was arrested Monday night and charged with sending a threatening e-mail to state Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart, an hour after the Arizona shooting that killed six and critically injured U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
The unsigned e-mail, sent to Snyder’s state House of Representatives address on Jan. 8, told the legislator to “stop that ridiculous law if you value your and your familie’s lives.”
Snyder has proposed an Arizona-style crackdown on illegal immigration for Florida.
Snyder said he reported the e-mail to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and state capitol security officials in Tallahassee.
According to TCPalm.com and other published reports, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said today that Manuel E. Pintado, 47, of Northampton, Mass., used a public access wireless connection at a Starbucks a few blocks from his home.
TCPalm reported that Pintado was being held today in a Massachusetts jail pending his transfer to face charges in Martin County. He is under a $450,000 bail on charges of corruption by threat and sending a written threat to kill or do bodily harm. The charges are second- and third-degree felonies.
The Martin County sheriff’s report said Pintado called himself a “political activist” and admitted sending the threatening e-mail. According to the report, Pintado said that he meant no physical harm to Rep. Snyder, “but added he was glad the e-mail made him nervous.”
“In today’s environment I just treated it on its face value. It was what it was — it was a threat,” said Snyder, a career law enforcement officer before winning his state House seat in 2006. “I figured it would be foolhardy to not be responsible and report it.”
Added Snyder: “If he thought that I was supposed to back off from the bill, he’s sadly mistaken.”