March 24th, 2010
01:46 PM ET
5 years ago

FBI investigating Perriello incident in Virginia

The FBI is investigating a 'suspicious incident' at the home of Rep. Tom Perriello's brother.
The FBI is investigating a 'suspicious incident' at the home of Rep. Tom Perriello's brother.

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.”

Filed under: 2010 • Popular Posts • Tom Perriello • Virginia
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Between this incident and all of the vandalism that has occurred at various congressional offices, It ain't hard to see who the nasty people are in this whole thing. Right, Doug, New Jersey? Have a nice day!

    March 24, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. Donatella

    These tea party people are getting out of hand, I alway knew it was a racist mob but this is just plain scary, when is somebody from the Gop going to step up to the plate and put a stop to this insanity, if they think by not speaking out about the tea party is going to save them some votes they are sadly mistaken, don't they realize that just about every minority in this country is turned off by this behavior. How many old wrinkled white people do they think are left to vote for them.

    March 24, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Dieter Zerressen

    Anybody yet willing to declare these teabaggers as terrorists?

    March 24, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  4. Cecil

    Shows how much they care about "Americans".
    Sad, really sad. What did his brother have to do with anything?

    March 24, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Rob

    Yes please CNN, make every american who opposes the health care bill look like an extremist. Give me a break, so everytime something happens in america are you going to look at tea party members first. Cant wait till 2012 to get this moron out of office!!!!

    March 24, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. TK

    I have said before and i will say it again-the tea party is the new KKK. Look at them–they look and act like the people who was fighting against blacks in the 50's & 60's.

    March 24, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. Tulsa

    This is the direct result of what the GOP leadership and the tea party have been saying. These people have a right to their opinions and can rally, protest, vote and speak all they want, but when those actions provoke acts of violence, they must be stopped. The police must crack down and the parties who instigate such violence must be held responsible.
    The Republican party is headed for a LOT of trouble once the sane 60% of the nation wakes up and sees the damage these idiots have caused.

    March 24, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  8. greenfish

    Were there threats of bodily harm to right wing members of Congress during the Bush administration? I don't recall any, despite the deep distaste many of us had for their policies. If one doesn't like what a member of Congress does, one can work to defeat him or her in the next election and vote him or her out. But violence? That's sick and the leaders on the right should speak forcefully against such vandalism.

    March 24, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Well, I guess we now to what extremes some right-wing Republicans will go to, to show their displeasure with the federal government. We don't need to import terrorists: we have our very own home-grown terrorists in the form of right-wing Republicans.
    If someone doesn't rachet-down the rhetoric we are going to have another war on our hands, but it will be the right-wing versus the rest of America.

    March 24, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. Not My America

    OK, Let's see:

    * Callous disregard for poor and sick
    * exploitation of nationalistic symbols
    * Faithfulness to demagogues warning of "coming war"
    * Racially-fueled anger, targeting of scapegoats
    * Violent threats and destruction of property
    * And now, a clear attempt at politically-motivated murder.

    And you expect us to believe OBAMA is the Nazi?

    March 24, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. Cindy

    Tea Pary domestic terrorists? Sounds like they are fast becoming the modern day Weather Underground....

    March 24, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. Jay Kay, Minneapolis

    Another case of Tea Baggers showing their true colors. Color them hateful.

    March 24, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Walter

    So now its not just abortion doctors on the hit list. Its anyone who is even related to someone who votes for a progressive piece of legislation.

    March 24, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. get real

    Trying to get your point across in a destructive violent way pushes people away from a movement. Only the demented move to violence. This will hurt the tea party/republican's message. While it can only take one bad apple, both the tea party members and republicans need to come out strongly and denounce this. Sarah Palin for example needs to stop putting bulls eye on democratic congressman she thinks are vulnerable and stop saying she is targeting this. This may all sound silly but the fringe and the crazies out there take these sort of statements literally. The mentally ill for example, some already think the person on t.v. is talking to them directly. What is has a rational meaning to us, has a totally different meaning to others.

    Violence is not the American way.

    March 24, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. IndyVoter

    SICK, SICK, SICK!! Tea Partiers are a bunch of ignorant, racist, potentially murderous clowns that are so consumed by their own hate that they don't even realize it. GOD HELP US!!

    March 24, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. NVa Native

    This is what has become of our civil discourse.
    Thank you Rush, Fox, Republicans, and all the rest who make money off of promoting fear, hatred, and intolerance – while keeping their followers ignorant and arrogant.
    Disgusting.

    March 24, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Wayne

    Anti health care reform bill terrorists! Wow, does this mean we're in Orange Pekoe?

    March 24, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. Jim, San Antonio

    These kind of things happened in Germany in the 1930's. The GOP is causing a new era of hatred, divisiveness, and partisanship that is ruining this country.

    March 24, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Dano

    This is why people think the teabaggers are right-wing wackos – because they are! Whether it's antiabortionists blocking access to clinics or tea party members shouting down congressmen at meetings, the common theme is: we're right and you're wrong so we can do whatever it takes to get our way. Absolutely disgusting!

    March 24, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  20. Luke Brown

    These whack job people who call themselves Tea Party-ers need to see what really passed Congress. Where were they when Bush embarked on a three-trillion-dollar war in the Middle East or the three trillion dollar tax giveaway to the super-rich. And while they are at it, they should look at what happened to all the money in Social Security under Bush.

    Trust me, this so-called "movement" is all about having a black guy as President.

    March 24, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. Obama Victim

    well this loser has been blowing gas at the country...so it seems about right

    March 24, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Gary

    First check the American Terrorist's AKA Republican Tea Party.

    March 24, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. US Veteran

    When we teach values in the military, we teach that the leadership's actions set the conditions for subsequent behavior of their followers. This is the "climate of command".

    Racial slurs, spitting and now a possible incident with deadly consequences show that there is a serious lack of values-based leadership by the conservative movement. We've come a long way, all downhill in this area, since President Reagan.

    March 24, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. Jim

    The right wing has been claiming that the left is using totalitarian tactics ever since President Obama was elected, but all the violence, threats of violence, gun buying and terrorism is coming from the right. All the militias that are out there training are right wingers. The leaders on the right need to tone down their rhetoric and the followers need to tone down their behavior. This has gotten way out of hand.

    March 24, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain

    Militia "leaders" are calling on people to throw bricks through the windows of those lawmakers who voted for the health care reform bill.

    Sarah Palin has a map of "targeted" Representatives who voted for the health care reform bill – complete with gun sights showing where the Representatives reside.

    Teabaggers are carrying weapons to rallies, with signs saying they're willing to "go to war" to block health care reform.

    Sounds like domestic terrorism is on the rise. Perhaps we should take a page from the Bush/Cheney play book and arrest these people, don't charge them with anything, and hold them indefinitely without benefit of legal counsel.

    There's plenty of room for them at Gitmo before it closes. I'm sure they wouldn't mind, since they are all for keeping our country safe from terrorists.

    March 24, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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