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

FBI investigating Perriello incident in Virginia

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Cando

    The republican party has turned into the deather party. You don't play by their rules and they threaten or maybe even kill you. What a horrible party to be in.

    March 24, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Marc

    First the 'Repent Amarillo' band of wackos, now this, NEXT....????

    March 24, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  3. Carmelle

    This tea party NEEDS TO BE STOPPED!

    March 24, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Judie

    Apparently the Tea Party activists who proclaim they are solid Christians were sleeping in Suday Scool class when the Golden rule was taught, "DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU" Well, as my friends in the clergy always say, "what goes around, comes around".....

    March 24, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. Molly Weasley

    The story doesn't mention it, but the teabagger who posted the wrong address called this "collateral damage." The house could have blown up, and the family could have been killed. You want to be tried for accessory to murder, you teabagger lunatic?.

    This is domestic terrorism, just like the crazy who advocated throwing bricks through the windows of Democratic offices all over the country, which has been happening since the weekend. But Republicans, aided by the loony teabaggers, will just keep stoking the fire.

    Someone is going to get killed - mark my words. Is this really what Americans want? I don't think so.

    March 24, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The GOP is intent on portraying Obama as the Great Divider when infact he has been from the primaries to the present, the Great Uniter. Under the guise of the Tea Baggers spitting and racial epiteths have come back in vogue. Just like in the 1960's. a lot of bad things happenned in the '60s due to inflammatory rhetoric from the right.

    Look to see who is conducting themselves according to his Christian principles: love thy fellow man, take care of the weakest amongst us. And then turn and see who just likes to hold the bible as they yell insanites and fan the flames of bigotry with their conspicous silence in the face of these bigotted and contemptible acts. Look to see who is continually demonized and shunned, and who stands and continues to profit from the demonization of our President. Look who stands to gain from maintaining the status quo and who stands to lose yet continues to fulfill his promises to us the voters nonetheless. Look at who wants to regain power and who is just doing what is right.

    Don't let the GOP continue to scare you into silent assent of what you know to be wrong. Do the right thing and denounce them. You'll sleep better tonight.

    March 24, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. harvey

    Tea Party thugs = Republican Party voters
    because not one Republican spoke out against portrayals of the President as The Joker, these race-baiters and hate-mongers ratcheted up to carrying assault weapons outside a Presidential appearance, yelling at the President while he was speaking before Congress, yelling about baby killers on the House floor, yelling the N-word at elected representatives of "the people" who these racists love to glorify, and hurling rocks through windows of elected representatives. why hasn't a single Republican spoken? because, like Haley Barbour who has a Confederate flag on his office wall, they sympathize and identify with racist, white supremacist, gun-toting goons who will stop at nothing to advance their agenda.

    March 24, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. alpha_nu_916

    this is how tea baggers influence policy . . . not with the ballor box but with a box cutter. they are playing with fire (literally).

    March 24, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    Anyone else out there wondering how low these right wing lunatics can go? Are we seeing it now, or can it get worse? I'm ashamed for them. They obviously aren't. And who wants to lay odds that the VA AG won't do a darn thing?

    March 24, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Blkman

    HOW crazy is this........................................all because something passed Congress and was signed into law by President Obama that "they" did not like. What kills me is these people claim this is "take over" of our Health care system by the government. Right, so I guess their tactics are what NOT a TAKE over?

    March 24, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. Tea Party Terrorists

    Looks like domestic terrorism and this "activist"/tea party mullah is inciting his following to do harm to Americans. Send him to Gittmo! Time for some waterboarding. No aid and comfort to the enemy.

    March 24, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. AK Steve

    The tea party is the guerrilla warfare wing of the GOP.

    March 24, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Tom J Tampa

    Some teabagger was bragging about posting Tom Perriello's address on a blog encouraging people to go pay him a visit. He ended up posting Tom Perriello's brother's address instead. Republican's and the Tea Party need to tone down there angry retoric. It is going to encourge violence and domestic terrorism.

    If these people claim this is a Christian Nation they should act like Christians!

    March 24, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Big Ed

    If this is true, and there are Tea Baggers involved, there should be an all out investigation of these people. It has gone way too far. Differences of opinion is one reason America is the greatest nation in the world, however this is far and away from freedom of speech.

    March 24, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. TOM

    Probably the act of a neighborhood kid.

    March 24, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  16. Debbie Hanrahan

    GOP during McCain campaign allowed, condoned, and abetteded inciting crowd vs civil debate. This has over-flowed to the tea party, GOP you lied and baby killer outages, and other fringe groups.

    Ann Coulter was an absolute embarrassement to all of the people in the United States with her Canadian spectacle.

    The GOP must stand up and do more than just make a statement but must show in their "actions" they support civil debate and American discourse. IF all that comes out from the GOP are statements and no action then they are abetting inciting and shoulb be charged!

    Freedom of speech is a right but it does come within the bounds of civility.

    March 24, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. Most Republicans - Wrong about everything, Wrong for America (and GW Bush was the worst President ever)

    When your party is being run by psychos, what do you expect to happen. These people have no regard for the rights of anyone but themselves.

    March 24, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Jason

    Tea Partiers,
    If you want to lose your reputation as fringe, racist, gun-toting lunitics you may want to stop shouting racial slurs at politicians, spitting on them, throwing bricks threw their office windows, and cutting gas lines on their grills. Just a suggestion. I am not a huge fan of the health care bill, I believe there is some good in it but it is too expensive. But he is right, let your voting do the talking in November.

    March 24, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. Constitution believer

    Sad and pathetic, what these extremists do.

    March 24, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  20. Larry

    Reminds me of the era of Civil Rights legislation in the early and mid sixties. Every wacko cracker in the South came out of the woodwork. Same thing here. What is it with these yahoos? Good Lord folks, this is the 21st century we're in. You would think that, even in the South, we would've evolved to a higher level than this. And the sad part is that it is also happening in other parts of the country.

    I'll bet if you'd examine most of these TeaPartiers a little more closely you would find they are not really well educated, maybe a little college, mostly just high school (probably a lotta GED's), you know the type - educated just enough to be dangerous. Probably been livin' around the margins, socioeconomically and otherwise, all their lives. Exactly the demographic 'da man been exploiting to do his dirty bidding since the days of Jim Crow. They probably feel threatened by what they perceive as the upward mobility of African Americans and other minorities. Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh, neither of whom has much college if any, appeal to these types - so does Sarah Palin. They can really yank their chains and get'em to do just about anything they ask. How utterly sad.

    March 24, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. Gale

    Yep, I'm sure all the retarded Dems will blame it on George Bush, after all, he did everything else wrong in the world.

    March 24, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. Blame Sarah Palin

    This act was criminal. The person who is enabling these right wing terrorists is Sarah Palin. She should be charged as a co-conspirator.

    March 24, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    I hope Republicans can step up, take responsibility for the monster they've created and put it to sleep once and for all. This is disgusting. And it's blatantly obvious that the Republican Party only encourages Tea Partiers in the hopes of sabotaging Democrats. Irresponsible and disturbing. Republican leaders are devoid of morality to tacitly condone these "patriotic" terrorists.

    March 24, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. Co-Conspirator

    Sarah Palin should be charged with co-conspiracy in this crime.

    March 24, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. RCasson

    These tea party idiots are not only homophobic and racist, but now they are proving to be dangerous. I say lock ALL the fools up before someone dies!!!

    March 24, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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