Washington (CNN) - Days after his address was posted online by a Virginia Tea Party activist, the FBI and local law enforcement officials are investigating a "suspicious incident" at the home of Rep. Tom Perriello's brother.
A line to the propane tank on his brother's gas grill had been "severed," an aide to the Democratic congressman told CNN.
"It was enough that he could smell the gas," the aide said.
The Albemarle County Fire Marshal's office confirmed they are investigating the incident - which took place in Ivy, Virginia - along with the FBI.
"While officials are not willing to characterize the exact nature of the incident because of the ongoing investigation, it did not involve an immediate threat to occupants of the residence," Lee Catlin, Community Relations Director for the Fire Marshal, told CNN. "However officials are taking the incident very seriously and conducting a vigorous investigation. Additional details will be released as the investigation continues."
Catlin said county officials joined the investigation late Tuesday after a request from the FBI.
Politico reported Monday that a Tea Party activist in Lynchburg, angry over Perriello's vote in favor of health care reform legislation, had posted the address of Perriello's brother online and encouraged other activists to "stop by" and weigh in on the bill. The activist had apparently meant to post the congressman's home address but mistakenly published his brother's.
Perriello, who represents Virginia's conservative-leaning 5th congressional district, encompassing central and southern parts of the state. He was narrowly elected to his first term in 2008 and is considered one of the most vulnerable House Democrats in 2010.
On Wednesday, Perriello's office issued the following statement:
“My number one priority right now is ensuring the safety of my brother’s family, and I am grateful to law enforcement for their excellent work. While it is too early to say anything definitive regarding political motivations behind this act, it’s never too early for political leaders to condemn threats of violence, particularly as threats to other Members of Congress and their children escalate. And so I ask every member of House and Senate leadership to state unequivocally tonight that it is never OK to harm or threaten elected officials and their families with anything more than political retribution. Here in America, we settle our political differences at the ballot box.”
Well, it had to come to this...with Palin putting people "in her sights" and aiming at anyone not bowing to her will, someone is going to die, but you betcha it won't be HER fault. The woman has been inciting crowds to the verge of violence since she was thrust upon us by that nimwit McCain.
Yeah, the Tea Baggers are just a bunch of regular ole patriots.
With all the name calling, spitting, rock throwing, threats, and now sabotage that these armed idiots have far more in common with the KKK than any true red white and blue patriot.
But, what do you expect, when the reich wing noise machine is cranking out hate propaganda 24×7 in an unchecked stream of self validation, it's all these armed insurrectionists listen to, and their own congressional leaders hijack presidential addresses to shout out self serving ejaculations of pandering hypocrisy.
The tea partiers, while claiming to represent america, clearly do not like democracy. Sorry, but you lost, and health care is now law. If you respond to this with violence, then its clear you never believed in america to begin with.
This is what people with no intelligent argument resort to: intimidation and violence! These are the people whose fathers and grandfathers have already plummeted us into a huge national debt, and yet they still want tax cuts for themselves and their children! I guess the debt is not THEIR problem... it's not like the American economy and their jobs and hence their houses and living were built on all that borrowing or anything...
Assest these nuts, and that wacko in Alabama threatening to use guns when rocks through windows don't work. How can these folks say they are Americans?
When conservatives fail at the ballot box, they resort to the bullet box. How quaint and ANTI-American.
More conservative idiots who can only solve their problems like criminals.
These tea partiers are the new domestic terrorists.
The entire collection of GOP Senators and Congressmen as well as all Governors and members of each state house, should stand up and tell 'em to cut it out.
This is getting too dangerous.
These tea party people are dangerous, hateful, disrespectful and disgusting bigots. And the GOP has welcomed them with open arms. They are deluded if they think support like this will help their prospects in the 2010.
Sounds like the Tea Party is promoting death.
Nice. Good work Tea Party. If you can't get your way yelling and screaming perhaps attempting to kill some people will persuade Americans that the Tea Party is the path of the righteous.
Yea, that's what Christ would do.
Even more evidence that the Tea Partiers are extremists.
Violence is the only thing Neocons know. They spew hate, love guns and believe only they have a God given right to America. Most have as perverted view of Christianity as Muslim extremists have of Islam. "Love thy neighbor as yourself"? Not a chance! Not unless they are the same color, the same religion, vote the same way, open carry a gun or two, support wars that are based in lies while saying that they are prolife. They call themselves patriots while the refuse to support a President and government elected by a large majority of Americans. I find that unpatriotic and even subversive. It becomes treason when violent or promoting violence. In Iraq, we call people like that, insurgents. God Help America!
Disgusting and dishonorable for any US citizen to do something like that. This hateful rhetoric has to stop before something awful happens.
The guy who posted his address should be charged and held responsible. It should not be treated lightly
I hope they throw a "domestic terrorism" charge against the Lynchburg person who posted this man's address online (and also against the Alabama blogger who encouraged people to throw bricks at Democrat's offices, leading to the NY incident).
Putting this sort of thing online is no different than taking out an ad on TV and saying the same thing, and falls under the realm of "incitement to riot."
This Tea Party crap founded by Glenn Beck is doing exactly what I feared it would, attempted assassinations of anyone they disliked.
These Teaparty members are ignorant at best and racists at worst and it is sad to see them all over Arizona!!! I lived in Texas for five years and I thought I saw all the intolerance and hated I would see in a lifetime. Trust me – Arizonians are no better and in some cases – worst!!!
This shows what kind of deranged people we have in this society today.
No one has to pay for their actions anymore, the laws have loophole after loophole to protect these wackos.
It is a very dangerous world we live in today, no one can just agree to disagree they have to act like savages, cursing spitting and using foul language, did they not have any parenting when they were younger.
Looks that way.
You own the tea baggers now, GOP. Without GOP leadership, I doubt these people can be contained anymore.
I fault Mr. Bitter - I'm a poor loser - McCain for this nonsence. So upset at loosing the presidency, McCain has proven time and time again just how petty and vindictive he can be. By encouraging Palin's divisive comments during the campaign, McCain promoted this hatred. Having lost the election, he thumbed his nose at decency, and sat back while the hate simmered over, clapping his hands in glee.
At least the binders are now off and the country can see just how detestable this man McCain and the party he embrasses truly is. When McCain, of all people, should have stopped this behavior, he, along with his good ole boy buddy network, encouraged it.
You reap what you sow, McCain. Where a truly great man of sound principles would have stopped this hatred from festering, you did the opposite. How utterly comtemptous of you, McCain, and all of those in your party, who - by their very silence - endorse this behavior.
It's only been a matter of time until these Tea Party crazies started actively resorting to violent tactics. When ignorance and raw stupidity are combined with fear and hate, it's the only realistic, inevitable outcome we can expect.
Come on Dems, tie the right-wing Tea Baggers to the right-wing Republican Party in your November campaign commercial ads. Please show images of Republican lawmakers at Tea Party events. Please show how the Republicans and Tea Bag terrorists have turned to violence, breaking Democratic windows, threatening Democratic lawmakers' lives. Wow, Tea Baggers and Republicans turning to threatening Congressman Tom Perriello and his brother's family with violence.
This is going to be a very interesting mid-term election cycle.
The difference between a Tea Bagger and a Terrorist is getting harder to define.
VERY DISTURBING!!!!! The tea party and most of the Republicans ARE HATEFUL, and IGNORANT BIGOTS. Just because they can't have it their way they are uncontrollably angry....They cover themselves with the Flag and God's word and then spill out ugly hate. They are NOT patriots and they are NOT making a good case for Heaven!
So, straight away your accusing the whole Tea Party movement for this?
People in the Tea Party should be arrested for this. Tea Party people must really hate America.