Man Arrested For Allegedly Theatening Lawmaker: ‘Extreme Reaction’
DENVER (CBS4)– For the second time in a month a man has been arrested, accused of sending threats to a state lawmaker because of their stance on gun control measures.
David Cassidy has been charged with harassment and attempting to influence a public official after he allegedly left a threatening voice mail for Sen. Andrew Kerr, a Democrat representing Lakewood.
Kerr said he believed this message crossed the line: “Andy Kerr, you and the rest of the communist Democrats are going to regret what you’re doing. Either by ballots or by bullets we are going to get you out of office.”
Kerr said although he felt threatened he will continue to leave his cellphone number public so constituents can call him with concerns.
“My immediate concern was for the safety of my family,” said Kerr.
Cassidy said he did not intend to be threatening and believes Kerr is using the incident as a platform for his message.
“I think this is a real extreme overreaction to what I said,” said Cassidy.
“I’ve never had a threat like that in elected office or really any time in my life,” said Kerr. “That was the point where it really crossed the line.”
Cassidy said he feels like some lawmakers are ignoring voters. He said he never meant to threaten anyone.
In fact, he called Kerr a week later to try to explain himself, “I’m not threatening you in any way. I’ve never threatened you in any way.”
“What I said was meant in a figure of speech. I meant it as a hyperbole. It could have very well been, ‘We’re going to remove you from office by hook or by crook,'” said Cassidy.
Police believe otherwise and investigated the voice mails which resulted in charges against Cassidy.
“I want the message to be sent that it’s not okay to threaten someone to get them to vote one way or the other,” said Kerr.
Cassidy has been released from custody on a $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Denver County Court on April 15 for a preliminary hearing.
Franklin Sain is facing similar charges. He was in court Wednesday and will enter a plea next month.
Sain admits to making vulgar phone calls and sending threatening emails to state Sen. Rhonda Fields, a Democrat representing Aurora. She sponsored some of the gun control bills.
Sain’s attorney says the speech is protected by the First Amendment.