A California man arrested early Wednesday morning for allegedly threatening Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh called 911 and reported he had a gun and was having suicidal thoughts, according to newly filed court documents.
“At approximately 1:50 a.m. [Wednesday], a man was arrested near Justice Kavanaugh’s residence. The man was armed and made threats against Justice Kavanaugh,” the high court’s public information officer Patricia McCabe said in a statement. “He was transported to Montgomery County Police 2nd District” in Maryland.
The man, later identified in federal court documents as Nicholas John Roske, was later charged with attempting to kidnap or murder, or threatening to assault, kidnap, or murder, a U.S. Supreme Court justice – a federal felony that carries a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
According to court documents, U.S. Marshals stationed outside Kavanaugh’s home saw an individual later identified as Roske exit a taxi that had stopped in front of the residence just after 1 a.m. Roske was reportedly wearing black clothing and carrying a backpack and suitcase. When Roske saw the Marshals, they said, he turned and walked down the street.
A short time later, the Montgomery County Emergency Communications Center received a call from someone identifying himself as Roske and saying “he was having suicidal thoughts and had a firearm in his suitcase.” The caller also said he had come from California to kill a specific U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Local police were then dispatched to the scene, where they took Roske into custody without incident.
A search of Roske’s suitcase turned up a 9mm Glock 17 pistol with two magazines and ammo, along with a black tactic chest rig and knife, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crowbar and duct tape.
After being transported to a nearby police precinct, Roske reportedly agreed to speak to detectives, saying he was upset about the leak of the draft decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case pending before the Supreme Court, which could drastically reduce constitutional protections for abortion. Roske also allegedly said he was concerned that Kavanaugh would vote to loosen gun control laws and referenced the mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two adults dead.
“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,” prosecutors said.
Roske allegedly also told police he had purchased the Glock pistol and other items to use to break into Kavanaugh’s home to kill the justice and himself.
Earlier Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters, “This kind of behavior is obviously behavior we will not tolerate. Threats of violence and actual violence against the justices of course strike at the heart of our democracy and we will do everything we can to prevent them and to hold people who do them accountable.”