Peter Yankowski, Workers author
Connecticut Publish, Bridgeport
Authorities say a self-described “nationalist” from Connecticut whose household instructed police he’s “fascinated” with Hitler and hung out in white supremacist chat rooms is dealing with fees in Florida, after threatening to kill a sheriff who’s spoken out towards antisemitism.
Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood drew widespread consideration in February after he challenged a hate group that had been distributing antisemitic literature and appeared at a speedway holding banners at a pedestrian bridge. Chitwood claimed throughout a information convention that he’d been positioned on the group’s “hit record.”
“You got here to the mistaken county, I stand with my Jewish pals and I’m honored to be in your hit record, it’s an honor to be wanted by a bunch of punk thugs such as you,” Chitwood stated.
After the clip of Chitwood’s incensed problem went viral, authorities stated dying threats started rolling in, together with one from a Connecticut man.
Connecticut resident Cristhian Zapata, 23, and two males from New Jersey and California have every been charged with making a written menace to kill, a felony.
Shelton police arrested Zapata on Wednesday on a warrant and he stays in custody on $100,000 bond forward of extradition proceedings to Florida, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Workplace stated.
Authorities allege Zapata posted a message on 4chan, an nameless picture board web site, threatening, “I WILL KILL CHITWOOD, MARK MY WORDS.” The publish was “flagged by the Central Florida Intelligence Change for additional investigation,” the sheriff’s workplace stated.
In line with the Florida affidavit used to cost Zapata, investigators then contacted 4chan with an emergency request for the IP deal with of the person who posted the April 7 message.
The web site responded with a message containing an IP deal with and indicated the threatening message had been posted to a bit of the location dedicated to “politically incorrect” discussions that’s largely a quagmire of racist memes, the warrant acknowledged.
With the IP deal with, investigators had been capable of get hold of the deal with of Zapata’s residence by the web service supplier.
When Ansonia police went to the house on Monday, the owner knowledgeable them Zapata had been dwelling together with his sister and her fiance, however they’d simply completed shifting out on Sunday.
Police had been capable of meet with Zapata’s sister who instructed them “when she heard that we had been inquiring a couple of case involving the web, she instantly suspected it concerned her brother,” an Ansonia police detective wrote to authorities in Florida, in line with the warrant.
“She stated Cristhian is fascinated with Adolph Hitler and people kinds of dictators,” the warrant acknowledged.
Zapata’s sister additionally instructed investigators she “has seen him on the pc in chat rooms with white supremacists, and arguing with individuals on YouTube,” in line with the warrant.
The sister got here again to the police station with Zapata and his laptop computer.
Throughout an interview, Zapata instructed police he grew up in Bridgeport and attended however didn’t graduate from Central Excessive Faculty, in line with the affidavit. The affidavit acknowledged Zapata instructed police “he realized in regards to the occasions that had been going down down in Florida and the opposite on-line threats towards Sheriff Chitwood.”
“He stated he was stunned to find that individuals had been being arrested for the threats as a result of he believes within the First Modification. He denied being part of any hate teams or different organizations,” the warrant acknowledged. “He recognized himself as being a nationalist and solely a Trump supporter.”
He additionally admitted he made the publish on 4chan, the warrant acknowledged.
In a follow-up interview with Florida authorities, the sister “described her brother as an odd one who is innocent and spends all of his off-time on-line in bizarre chat rooms speaking to unknown individuals about conspiracy theories and white supremacist ideology,” the warrant acknowledged.
Along with Zapata, Chitwood’s workplace stated they’ve additionally charged New Jersey resident Richard Golden and California resident Tyler Meyer with the identical offense.
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