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Man arrested for asking 'threatening' question at GOP senator's town hall

Local police are reportedly planning to charge a man who attended Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyAppeals court rules NSA's bulk phone data collection illegal Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy MORE’s (R-Pa.) town hall after he asked the senator a question that was perceived as “threatening.”

The exchange between Toomey and the man, reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, led Bethlehem, Pa., police to remove the man, who law enforcement said they would charge with disrupting a public meeting and disorderly conduct.

According to the Post-Gazette, Simon Radecki of Northampton County asked Toomey a question about a family member in an effort to talk about immigration.

“We’ve been here for a while. You probably haven’t seen the news. Can you confirm whether or not your daughter Bridget has been kidnapped?” Radecki asked the senator.

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After several seconds, Radecki then said, “The reason I ask is because that’s the reality of families that suffer deportation.”

Tim Fallon, the CEO of PBS39, which aired last week’s town hall, described the exchange to the newspaper as “one of the scariest things that I have ever been a part of.” 

The incident caused the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania to come to Radecki’s defense, however.

The group’s legal director said the ACLU would “love to talk” to Radecki should he require legal assistance.

“You aren’t going to show that intent, and the disruption stemmed not from his question but the response to it,” Vic Walczak, the legal director, told the Post-Gazette.

A spokesman for Toomey called the question “reprehensible.”

“Asking questions that are based upon kidnapping a child is not only reprehensible, but it is inherently threatening,” Steve Kelly told the newspaper.