A Howard County man has been arrested on a charge of sending threatening messages to a U.S. House representative from Maryland, saying he would kill the official and blow up their office should the politician “mess with my vote.”
Sidhartha Kumar Mathur, 34, was charged in U.S. District Court with one count of making threats against a federal official. The congressman is not identified in charging documents, but federal prosecutors said at a hearing Wednesday that the congressman’s office asked that Mathur be detained pending trial. He was released instead, and ordered to have no contact with the office.
The documents describe the first message as a voicemail left Dec. 10 at a district office for the representative, which was referred to the U.S. Capitol Police for investigation.
“I just want to say, I’m going to [expletive] kill you. If you even mess with my vote, I’m going to come and slit your throat and I’ll kill your family. ... Don’t touch my vote. You represent me. I’ll kill you.”
Around the same time that day, an email was sent through the U.S. House member’s website with a similar message, threatening to blow up the congressman’s office “if you try to take my vote away.” The writer also said he knew where the official lived.
“You’re a [expletive] animal who deserves to be tortured and skinned alive,” the message read.
Capitol Police say they traced the messages to Mathur and spoke to him Dec. 11. Police say he acknowledged making the phone call and “may have taken his statements too far,” police said. He offered that the threats were “conditional.”
“Mathur said that he does ‘take the threat seriously that his vote is going to be taken away’ and he believes he made the preconditions associated with his threat clear,” police wrote.
He denied sending the email, which was sent in the name of a person he knew. Police traced it to an IP address, a numeric designation that identifies a computer’s location on the internet, of an account belonging to Mathur’s father at the same West Friendship home.
The charges were filed Monday and unsealed Wednesday after Mathur was arrested. He faces a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
Mathur’s attorney, Michael Lawlor, could not be reached for comment.