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Chicago man arrested on charge of threatening Biden inauguration

Chicago man arrested on charge of threatening Biden inauguration
© Greg Nash

Federal authorities arrested a Chicago resident Tuesday who is accused of threatening to commit violence at President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenKaty Perry and her 'Firework' close out inauguration TV special Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Tom Hanks: After years of 'troubling rancor,' Inauguration Day 'is about witnessing the permanence of our American ideal' MORE’s inauguration next week.

A criminal complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago charging the man, Louis Capriotti, with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce, the Justice Department announced Tuesday afternoon. Capriotti, who is 45 and from Chicago Heights, Ill., is scheduled to make an initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon.

Officials say that Capriotti left a voicemail for an unnamed House lawmaker from New Jersey on Dec. 29 stating 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 also allegedly said, “We will surround the [expletive] White House and we will kill any [expletive] Democrat that steps on the [expletive] lawn.”

The announcement of Capriotti’s arrest comes amid heightened concerns about security threats around the inauguration next week following riots in the nation’s capital.

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

A mob of supporters of President TrumpDonald TrumpClinton, Bush, Obama reflect on peaceful transition of power on Biden's Inauguration Day Arizona Republican's brothers say he is 'at least partially to blame' for Capitol violence Biden reverses Trump's freeze on .4 billion in funds MORE successfully breached the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in an attack that led to five deaths, including the death of a Capitol Police officer, and rattled the nation.

During a call Monday evening, lawmakers were briefed on four specific armed threats against the Capitol, White House and Supreme Court around the inauguration Jan. 20. It was not immediately clear whether any of the information given to lawmakers was related to Capriotti’s threats or his arrest.