James Patrick Reardon Jr, 20, was accused of threatening to attack a Jewish Community Center in Youngstown, Ohio.
Law enforcement began investigating Reardon after noticing a suspicious Instagram post that had been shared in July. He was arrested on August 17, 2019, after police and the FBI raided his home in New Middletown, Ohio. The small village is located in Mahoning County and is part of the greater Youngstown area.
Reardon was booked into the Mahoning County Jail and held on a $250,000 bond. It was not immediately clear whether the FBI would also pursue federal charges.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. James Reardon Posted an Apparent Threat Against the Jewish Community Center on Instagram
The investigation into James Patrick Reardon, Jr. began after police discovered a suspicious Instagram post that appeared to threaten violence. It had been posted on July 11. Officer Ronald Craig of the New Middletown Police Department flagged the post.
As of this writing, the Instagram video is still live on Reardon’s account, which was identified by police as @ira_seamus. You can view it here, though we warn that many may find the video disturbing or upsetting.
In the video, Reardon appears to be firing a semi-automatic rifle. Screams can be heard in the background, as well as emergency sirens. The Jewish Community Center of Youngstown was tagged in the post. The caption read, “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon.”
2. Police Moved Quickly to Obtain a Warrant & Seized Weapons & Body Armor at Reardon’s House
Law enforcement moved fast after spotting James Reardon’s social media post on Friday, August 16. New Middletown Police Chief Vincent D’Egidio told CBS affiliate WKBN-TV in Youngstown that officials quickly obtained a search warrant. The FBI Violent Crimes Task Force raided Reardon’s home late Friday evening.
Inside, they found semi-automatic weapons, dozens of rounds of ammunition, and bulletproof armor. Agents also found white nationalist propaganda material.
Chief D’Egidio told the TV station, “This is a person that has declared himself as a white nationalist. With the hate crimes and everything else going on, we want to make sure we did our part to make sure this person was taken off the streets very quickly.”
3. James Reardon Is Charged With Aggravated Menacing & Telecommunications Harassment
James Reardon Jr. was arrested and booked into the Mahoning County Jail early on Saturday, August 17.
According to inmate records, Reardon faces two states charges: Telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing. Bond was set at $250,000.
The Mahoning County Jail website displays Reardon’s mugshot. He smiled for the camera when police booked him into the jail.
The FBI may file additional charges against Reardon. As of this writing, no federal counts had been filed.
4. James Reardon Attended the Protest in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017
James Patrick Reardon, Jr. describes himself as a white nationalist.
Chief D’Egidio told ABC affiliate WYTV that Reardon was previously featured in a documentary in which he spoke of a desire for a white homeland. Reardon also reportedly stated that his parents do not share his white nationalist beliefs.
Police also said that Reardon attended the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
Reardon’s Instagram included racial slurs directed against minorities. For example, on March 3 he posted a video of himself firing what appeared to be a BB gun at a DVD case of the show “Veggie Tales.” Reardon is heard saying, “F*cking Jewish media” before firing at the case. The caption includes an ethnic slur against Jewish people.
5. Extra Security Measures Were Implemented at Jewish Centers in the Youngstown Area
During a news conference on Saturday, August 17, Andrew Lipkin of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation stated that extra security measures had been put in place at area synagogues and community centers as a precaution. He thanked local law enforcement, the FBI and Homeland Security for taking action quickly after spotting James Reardon’s post. Lipkin stressed that there were no other known threats against the Jewish community in Youngstown or New Middletown.
The supposed threat made by Reardon comes less than one year after the massacre at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. Youngstown is located about an hour northwest of Pittsburgh. 11 people were killed in October of 2018 when a shooter opened fire inside the synagogue.