News & Politics

New York Man Arrested After Threatening Rep. Steve Scalise

U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, the third-ranking House Republican. (AP Photo/Melinda Deslatte)

An upstate New York man was arrested on Wednesday after he threatened House Majority Whip Steve Scalise via a voicemail message. Carlos Bayon, 63, of Grand Island, was apparently enraged about the GOP’s immigration policies, according to NOLA. 

“You are taking ours, we are taking yours… We are not going to feed them sandwiches; we are going to feed them lead. Make no mistake, you will pay,” the message reportedly said.

When asked by The Buffalo News whether immigration was a factor in the case, U.S. Attorney James Kennedy Jr. said, “I think that’s a reasonable interpretation.”

Authorities said they were able to trace the threatening messages to the suspect’s home telephone.

The FBI searched Bayon’s house and found “very concerning” items there, according to Kennedy.

“We are convinced that this defendant’s threats were credible,” he said without elaborating.

Bayon was charged on June 30 with “interstate communication of a threat on a Louisiana congressman and one from Washington.”

“Whip Scalise is grateful to law enforcement for their actions,” Scalise spokeswoman Lauren Fine said. “He will never forget how their heroism saved his life and those of his colleagues last year. As he has said before, there is absolutely no place in our political discourse for violent threats.”

Scalise was shot and gravely wounded June 14, 2017, by a politically motivated gunman who opened fire on him and his colleagues at a Republican team practice in Alexandria, Va., for the congressional baseball game. It was three months before he returned to Congress, and he still walks on crutches.

Fine said Scalise and his staff had never heard of Bayon. Nor do they know his motive, she said.

Here is the complete voicemail message from Bayon, who is a native of Puerto Rico:

Hey listen, this message is for you and the people that sent you there. You are taking ours, we are taking yours. Anytime, anywhere. We know where they are. We are not going to feed them sandwiches, we are going to feed them lead. Make no mistake you will pay. Ojo por ojo, diente por diente [Spanish for ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth’]. That is our law and we are the majority. Have a good day.

According to The Buffalo News, Bayon won a $601,000 judgment from the state of New York in 2005 after suing the University at Buffalo over what he claimed was unfair treatment from faculty members.

Bayon’s threat was made exactly one week after Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) urged a crowd to “push back on” Trump administration officials over the president’s border policy.

There have been at least 542 acts of violence against Trump-supporters since September of 2015.