An Ohio man has been arrested and charged with online harassment after he allegedly threatened to attack a Jewish community center, according to a local sheriff’s office.
James Reardon, 20, was being held on a $250,000 bond on charges of aggravated menacing and telecommunications harassment, Sgt. Scott Wilson with the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Fox News on Sunday.
Reardon was arrested around 11:35 p.m. on Friday from his home in New Middletown, Ohio, about an hour and a half from Cleveland, in connection with the online threat to the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Youngstown, Wilson told Fox News.
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New Middletown Police Chief Vincent D’Egidio said a video posted to Instagram last month showing a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle with sirens and screams in the background, in a post that indicated a threat to the JCC of Youngstown, WKBN-TV reported.
Investigators later linked the Instagram account to Reardon, the news station added.
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The FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force executed a search warrant at Reardon’s home on Friday and seized several semi-automatic weapons, dozens of rounds of ammunition, bulletproof armor and a gas mask, according to the television station.
Investigators also reportedly found what they described as anti-Semitic and white nationalist propaganda.
“With the hate crimes and everything else going on, we want to make sure we do our part to make sure we did our part to make sure this person was taken off the streets very quickly,” D’Egidio said.
Extra security has been at the Jewish Community Center since the investigation started and will stay there “for some time,” the television station reported, citing police.
“I want to stress that we know of no other threat to the Jewish Community or to any of our agencies at this point it time. Nonetheless, I have directed that we maintain the additional level of security for the near future,” Andy Lipkin, the executive vice-president of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation said in a statement.
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He added, “The positive result here is a clear example of the importance of monitoring social media to identify credible, hate-fueled threats before they are acted on.”
It was not immediately known if the FBI will pursue federal charges.