Armed man accused of threatening Kavanaugh is arrested near justice's home
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Updated: A man with a gun and zip ties was arrested early Wednesday near the Maryland home of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, according to court documents.
A criminal complaint, filed in Maryland federal court, identifies the man as Nicholas John Roske, according to the Washington Post and the Mercury News.
Roske, 26, is from Simi Valley, California, according to a Department of Justice press release. He was charged with attempting to kidnap or murder, or threatening to assault, kidnap or murder, a Supreme Court justice.
The criminal complaint and affidavit did not identify the justice as Kavanaugh, but the Supreme Court has confirmed that the incident happened outside his home.
Roske allegedly told police that he decided to kill Kavanaugh after he began thinking about how to give his life a purpose.
The suspect got out of a cab in front of the justice’s residence shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit. Two deputy U.S. marshals standing next to their car saw the man arrive.
The man was dressed in black clothing and carried a backpack and a suitcase. He turned to walk down the street after seeing the two deputy U.S. marshals.
Shortly after that, the man called the police emergency number, identified himself as Roske, and said he had suicidal thoughts and a gun in his suitcase, the affidavit said. Roske said he had come from California to kill Kavanaugh.
Police officers from Montgomery County, Maryland, reached Roske while he was still on the phone with 911.
Police inventoried the backpack and the suitcase and found a tactical vest, a tactical knife, a Glock 17 pistol with two magazines and ammunition, a crow bar, pepper spray, zip ties, duct tape and other items, the affidavit said.
After being advised of his rights, Roske allegedly told a detective that he was upset about the leaked draft opinion overturning the right to abortion and the recent mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Roske said he feared that the justice he wanted to kill would vote to loosen gun control laws, the affidavit alleged.
The Supreme Court confirmed the arrest, first reported by the Washington Post, in a statement.
“At approximately 1:50 a.m. today, a man was arrested near Justice Kavanaugh’s residence,” a Supreme Court spokeswoman said in the statement. “The man was armed and made threats against Justice Kavanaugh. He was transported to Montgomery County Police 2nd District.”
Other publications with early coverage of the arrest included Law360, Law.com, Bloomberg and CNN.
Earlier in the week, ABA President Reginald Turner responded to the killing of a retired judge by urging that Congress pass legislation increasing security measures for judges.
“The ABA calls on Congress to act to improve the security of our judges with stronger measures and increased funding,” said Turner in his statement. “Passage of the bipartisan Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act would enhance judicial security by restricting the disclosure and publication of judges’ personally identifiable information,” he added. “The safety of our judges needs to be a priority if our justice system is to function effectively.”
The ABA Governmental Affairs Office has created an online campaign to help people contact their own congressional representatives to urge the passing of the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act.
Updated June 8 at 2:10 p.m. to add information from the criminal complaint. Updated June 10 to add the information about the ABA’s statements and lobbying efforts.