MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Authorities charged a man arrested near Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home in Maryland on Wednesday with attempting or threatening to murder a U.S. judge after he admitted to planning to kill the conservative justice, according to court records.
Police arrested Nicholas John Roske early Wednesday after he made threats against Kavanaugh’s life, authorities said.
Update 2:45 p.m. EDT June 8: In an affidavit filed in court, authorities said officials with the U.S. Marshals Service saw Roske get out of a taxicab stopped in front of Kavanaugh’s home around 1:05 a.m. He was carrying a backpack and a suitcase, officials said.
A short while later, a man identifying himself as Roske called authorities to report that he was having suicidal thoughts and that he had a firearm in his suitcase. He told officials that he had traveled from California with plans to kill Kavanaugh, according to court records.
Police found Roske still on the phone with officials at the Montgomery County Emergency Communication Center. Officers took him into custody and later found that he had brought with him “a black tactical chest rig and tactical knife, a Glock 17 pistol with two magazines and ammunition, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crow bar, pistol light, duct tape, hiking boots with padding on the outside of the soles and other items,” court records show.
Roske told authorities “that he was upset about the leak of a recent Supreme Court draft decision regarding the right to abortion as well as the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas,” the affidavit said. “(Roske) indicated that he believed the justice that he intended to kill would side with Second Amendment decisions that would loosen gun control laws. (Roske) stated that he began thinking about how to give his life a purpose and decided that he would kill the Supreme Court justice after finding the justice’s Montgomery County address on the internet.”
Investigators said Roske planned to break into Kavanaugh’s home and kill him before taking his own life.
The incident happened hours before the Supreme Court released new opinions in the final weeks of its 2021 term year, CNN reported.
Protesters have been held recently outside the homes of Kavanaugh and other Supreme Court justices and outside the courthouse, according to The Associated Press.
Original report: Authorities arrested an armed man early Wednesday near the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, officials said.
In a statement obtained by The Associated Press, Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe confirmed that the man, who was arrested around 1:50 a.m., made threats against Kavanaugh. An unidentified official told the AP that the man had both a gun and a knife after arriving in the area by taxi, and that he told officers that he wanted to kill the conservative justice.
The man was taken to Montgomery County Police 2nd District following his arrest, McCabe told The Washington Post. The newspaper was the first to report on the arrest Wednesday.
Unidentified sources familiar with the investigation told the Post that the man had burglary tools on him when he was arrested on a street near Kavanaugh’s home. Authorities told the newspaper that they had gotten a tip that the man, who is in his 20s and from California, might pose a threat to Kavanaugh.
It was not immediately clear how the tip surfaced.
Two unidentified people told the Post that it appears that the man was angry about a draft Supreme Court opinion leaked last month, which indicates that the nation’s highest court is preparing to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that guarantees a woman’s right to an abortion. The newspaper reported that the man was also upset about recent mass shootings reported nationwide.
In a statement, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan praised authorities for “acting quickly to apprehend the suspect and prevent him from causing any harm.” He urged Democrats and Republicans to condemn the incident.
“It is vital to our constitutional system that the justices be able to carry out their duties without fear of violence against them and their families,” he said.
©2022 Cox Media Group