A Florida man was arrested Monday night after threatening to blow up his local elections office over unsolicited political robocalls he was getting, according to deputies.
Daniel Chen, a 65-year-old Melbourne man, called in the bomb threat to the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections Office on Monday afternoon, a day before voters headed to the Florida polls in Tuesday’s midterm elections, the county’s sheriff wrote in a Facebook post.
Deputies said that Chen cited the unwanted calls in his threat, and left his real name and phone number with the elections office, Florida Today reports. The elections supervisor called the sheriff’s office to report the threat.
After deputies tracked Chen down, he was arrested on charges of making a false report of a bomb threat, the sheriff’s office said.
“If you make threats to harm people in this county,” Sheriff Wayne Ivey warned in the Facebook post, “you just bought yourself a ride to the Brevard County Jail!!”
Chen is being held in the jail on $15,000 bond, deputies said.
A spokesperson for the elections office said others have called to complain about excessive calls or mail this year, though the others weren’t threatening, Florida Today reports.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act limits robocalls and other unwanted phone messages, but those rules don’t apply to political phone calls on landlines, according to the Federal Communications Commission.
Political calls are barred on cell phones without the phone-users’ consent, the FCC says.
Florida is home to a slate of competitive — and costly — elections this midterm season, including a governor’s race between Democratic Mayor of Tallahassee Andrew Gillum and GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis, and a close Senate race between incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and current Republican Gov. Rick Scott.