Spa City man arrested for making threats against president, children
A Saratoga Springs man was arrested after police said he threatened to kill the president as well as school children. YNN's Megan Cruz has the details.
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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- "Only he knows whether or not he was going to actually carry out those threats. I'm just happy we got him off the streets so we don't have to look at the what ifs," said Saratoga Springs Police Chief Christopher Cole.
Brent Dickinson, 33, from Saratoga Springs was arrested Friday, after local and federal officials learned he posted a disturbing message onto the White House's comment board.
"Suffice it to say the email said he was going to go into a school, hold kids hostage, and kill them," said Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy.
"We immediately made phone calls to the school system, private schools, public schools to alert them to the threat," said Cole.
Police were contacted by the Secret Service Friday morning. They had traced the posting to a Saratoga Springs Public Library computer. The message was sent at 10:10 a.m. Dickinson was taken into custody from the library shortly after.
"It was only approximately 30 minutes from the time that we received the initial call to the time we took him in," said Cole.
But authorities say Friday's incident wasn't Dickinson's first threat. That actually happened on February 17th from the Skidmore College campus. Around 2 a.m., they say Dickinson logged onto a computer in the Case Center Library and posted a message to the White House Comment Board. They wouldn't say exactly what was written, but that he threatened to harm the president.
"I don't know whether he's crazy or mentally ill or is someone who's just evil," said Murphy.
Whichever the case, police and the district attorney say he's been on their radar for a while.
"We have a lot of calls involving him. He's had several arrests since 2001, ranging from petit larceny to criminal contempt, to identity theft, to false reporting of an incident," said Cole.
"The risk of flight is great because he has been avoiding court appearances," said Murphy. "We have had 11 warrants issue for his arrest. Eleven times he failed to show up for court in other cases."
Officials say since his arrest, Dickinson has admitted to making the threats. At his arraignment, though, he pleaded not guilty.
They say the investigation is ongoing, but that they believe there is no longer a threat to the president or area school children.
Dickinson is due in court Tuesday. The charge he's facing - making a terroristic threat - is considered a Class D felony, so if convicted, he faces a maximum prison sentence of seven years.