A heavily armed man arrested one day after last week’s deadly Capitol riot had sent text messages threatening to kill the mayor of Washington as well as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to a government memorandum.
Cleveland Grover Meredith was armed with an “assault-style” rifle, a Glock pistol with high-capacity magazines and more than 2,500 rounds of ammunition, according to papers filed Wednesday in federal court asking that Meredith be held without bond.
Authorities said Meredith texted several people about plans for violence in the days before he arrived in Washington late Jan. 6 from Colorado. Earlier that day, rioting supporters of President Donald Trump, angered that Congress was preparing to confirm the election results for President-elect Joe Biden, stormed through the U.S. Capitol. At least five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died as a result of the violence.
Meredith, in one of the texts, says “we’re gonna surround DC and slowly constrict.” Expecting that law enforcement might be monitoring his communications, he later sent a text that “I’m harmless … I won’t fire until ordered SIR!”
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After receiving texts describing the riot, Meredith responded, “Ready to remove several craniums from shoulders.” Shortly afterward, he texted, “I’m so ready to (expletive) SOME TRAITORS UP.”
On Jan. 7, Meredith sent a text that said, “I may wander over to the Mayor’s office and put a 5.56 in her skull, (expletive).” He wrote, “I hope you’re reading this Mr. FBI agent.”
Later: “Thinking about heading over to Pelosi (expletive) speech and putting a bullet in her noggin on Live TV.”
He then texted, “I predict that within the next 12 days, many in our country will die.”
Meredith committed an assault Thursday, the legal papers said, head-butting a victim, knocking him to the ground and assaulting him further.
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Meredith faces charges of interstate communication of threat and weapons offenses.
“A clearly disturbed, deranged, and dangerous individual that fantasizes about committing horrific acts of violence and takes countless steps to carry them out by driving across several states with a trailer stocked with thousands of rounds of ammunition and multiple firearms – including an assault-style rifle – should not remain in the community,” the federal filing says.