James Dale Reed is a 42-year-old Maryland man accused of threatening to kidnap and “inflict bodily harm” against former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris.
He is accused of writing: “when we capture Grandpa Biden we will all severely beat him to the point of death as for Mrs. Harris she will be bent over and anally raped by my rifle barrel then for the grand end the [sic] both will be executed on National Television.”
The complaint accused Reed of leaving a letter threatening Biden and Harris on the doorstep of a Frederick, Maryland, resident. A door camera captured the subject who left the letter, authorities say. They added that the targeted resident did not know Reed but had yard signs supporting the Biden-Harris ticket.
“Reed is currently in state custody and a federal warrant has been lodged as a detainer to ensure his appearance in U.S. District Court at a future date,” according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur said: “We take these types of threats extremely seriously. Such threats to commit violence are illegal and have no place in our democracy, and we will hold accountable those who make them. We are grateful for the assistance of the City of Frederick Police Department and to citizens who provided tips that ultimately led to Mr. Reed’s arrest and these federal charges.”
You can read the criminal complaint in full here.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Letter Also Warned Biden-Harris Supporters That They Would Be Targeted
According to the DOJ press release, the letter read:
“This is a warning to anyone reading this letter if you are a Biden/Harris supporter you will be targeted. We have a list of homes and addresses by your election signs. We are the ones with those scary guns, We are the ones your children have nightmares about…When We capture Grandpa Biden We will all severely beat him to the point of death as for Mrs. Harris she will be bent over and Anally raped by my rifle barrel. Then for the Grand end the [sic] both will be executed on National Television.”
“The right to vote and peacefully support the candidate of your choice are bedrocks of our democracy,” said U.S. Attorney Hur. “Conduct like this that threatens major candidates and fellow citizens only undermines our democracy and the principles upon which America was founded. We will not tolerate threatening conduct that seeks to intimidate, harass or dissuade Americans from exercising their right to vote.”
According to the complaint, “The subject appeared to be a white male wearing a beanie hat, gloves, and a military-like windbreaker.”
2. The Door Cam Led to the Arrest of Reed, Authorities Say
Investigators “worked to identify the subject in the door camera video and after receiving a citizen tip, focused on Reed,” authorities wrote in the press release.
“An individual familiar with Reed viewed the door camera likeness and confirmed that person was Reed. On October 13, 2020, Reed was interviewed at his residence and denied leaving a threatening letter or being the individual in the door camera video that was shown to him. Two days later, Reed admitted writing and delivering the letter and was arrested.”
He faces five years in federal prison if convicted.
The complaint alleges that Reed “admitted to writing the letter on Saturday evening, October 3, 2020, because he was upset at the political situation. Reed then drove to Kline Blvd in the early morning hours of October 4, 2020, and took the letter to the first house he saw with multiple democratic political signs.”
3. Reed Filled His Facebook Page With Posts About Religion
Although Reed’s Facebook page doesn’t focus on political posts, he did post a number of times about religion and also posted in support of veterans.
“Hello and happy Sunday Facebook family and friends I know I haven’t posted things in a while but I am taking a break from social media for many reasons that I will not discuss here because most of them are political and I do not wanna get into a political war with anyone here so I will just leave it at that but I did some wonderful things yesterday with Lisa 16 years we have been married 17,” he wrote in September.
“…if you want account the year we went together but spent some time in Gettysburg yesterday went on a wonderful hike even though there was a little rain but had a wonderful time here are some pictures from the hike I took with Lisa yesterday hope you all have a wonderful Sunday God-bless all of you and hope you have a wonderful start to your week.”
Other graphics show Jesus Christ.
4. Reed Described Himself as ‘Self-Employed’
On Facebook, Reed described himself as “self employed.” He wrote that he “studied Applied Mathimatics at Frederick Community College,” spelling mathematics wrong.
He went to Frederick High School and lived in Frederick, Maryland, which is also where he was from. He listed himself as married.
“Break it,” his Facebook cover photo read.
5. Reed Made a Previous Threat, Authorities Say
The criminal complaint says that Reed is known by the U.S. Secret Service for making a threat against an unidentified person under U.S. Secret Service protection in 2014.
As for the new threat, the complaint alleges that investigators again asked Reed “if he had written the threatening letter; Reed indicated that he had written the letter by nodding his head. He then explained his involvement to the agents by saying that ‘This will happen’ (referring to individuals making threatening comments) due to the political climate.”