April 19th, 2010
02:52 PM ET
13 years ago

Feds make arrest in threat against Florida congresswoman

Miami, Florida (CNN) - Federal authorities announced Monday they have charged a 66-year-old Florida man with making a threatening phone call last month to Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Florida.

In his initial appearance on Monday before Magistrate Judge Anthony E. Porcelli, Erik L. Pidrman was ordered to submit to home detention and electronic monitoring and his bond was set at $20,000, said Steve Cole, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Middle District of Florida.

Pidrman had been taken into custody by the FBI on Sunday afternoon at his home in Spring Hill, Florida, without incident, the FBI said.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office and the FBI initiated a joint investigation after Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite's Brooksville, Florida, office received a telephone threat on March 25, according to an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint.

Pidrman called Brown-Waite's office at 6:09 a.m. and left the following message: "Just want to let you know that I have 27 people that are going to make sure that bitch doesn't live to see her next term," the complaint says. In an interview, Pidrman told police "that he is a 'blackout' alcoholic," which he described as someone who "blacks out but continues to function, but does not have any memory of what happened."

Pidrman, whose record includes DUI and disorderly intoxication convictions, said he had been on a binge at the time the call was made, the affidavit says.

When played the tape, "Pidrman responded, 'That's me, that's my voice,' " it says. However, he said he did not recall making the call, it says.

Though the call occurred four days after Congress passed legislation enacting changes to the health care laws, "Pidrman advised that he is not mad at Brown-Waite for anything in particular, he has health care coverage and his prostate cancer is not threatening," the affidavit says.

"Pidrman further advised that he did not do any particular research in regards to how members of Congress voted on the Health Care Reform Act, but 'It's obvious, Brown-Waite is a Republican.' "

Her Web site says she opposed the bill. "I will continue to join with my constituents to fight against deep cuts in Medicare and the Democrats' government expansion," it says.

"Contrary to the claims by some of my Democrat colleagues, these threats are real and need to be taken very seriously," the Republican representative said in a statement posted on her Web site.

"The work that we do in Congress can be controversial, but violence is never the answer. Before they hide behind their phones and make threats on the lives of elected officials, people need to realize that they are committing a federal offense and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

No one answered the phone at Pidrman's residence.

Filed under: Ginny Brown-Waite
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Ryan

    Right wingers are nuts. They're basically against terrorism unless it's them, in which case it's just "anger at big government". Scumbags.

    April 19, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. truth

    That good news. Now if we can get the rest of those tea partiers arrested.

    April 19, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. JA/TN

    these racially charged folk are far worse than the Taliban and alQueda, should be dealt with

    April 19, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. geecee

    Glad to hear it. There is entirely too much of this "threatening" going on, via e-mail and phone against our elected Representatives. I hope any person, regardless of age or mental illness, gets prosecuted for making a threat against an elected official or anyone else for that matter. That is a crime and should be prosecuted.

    April 19, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  5. Rich

    Yup, must have been another of those evil leftist hate-mongers!

    April 19, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Homegrown terrorist, lock them up and throw away the key.

    April 19, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  7. Dustin

    I'm glad that they are holding these people responsible. Free speach does not mean that you can threaten others without consequence.

    April 19, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Mike from Vancouver

    Ever get the feeling the crazies are taking over the asylum? I wonder how this came about?

    April 19, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Stop the lunacy people. Healthcare is law. Get over it already!

    April 19, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Rich

    Only a matter of time till some tea drinker or opponent goes berzerk .We need to calm the tea drinkers (not Cool Aid ) there are too many guns, drugs and nuts out there on the streets today. There comes a point where signs and shouting are not enough. Do we want Civil War number two?

    April 19, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. 8 Years of “trickle down economics” has only left a wet spot on working America's shoes!

    And let's hope the FBI is using the "enhanced" NSA rules of wire tapping and phone tapping to monitor all these gun toting nuts before they start gunnin' for Palin's designated "targets".

    April 19, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  12. Obama Victim

    I thought only Dems got threats?? how can this be??

    April 19, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  13. dale

    I'm affraid that if the Obama administration don't back off we will see more than threats. What kind of president and administration would risk that? I swear they are starting another civil war

    April 19, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    Nut-job – lock him up - set an example, Lock all of them up that make threats. Send the message to all nut-jobs.

    April 19, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Is he missing any teeth or did he ever graduate from high school?

    April 19, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. phoenix86

    Where is the democratic outrage against this threat? Or is it ok to threaten republican lawmakers?

    April 19, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Rickster

    Whaaaat??? Why, I thought that only those evil tea partiers were stirring up trouble and threatening people?? You mean to tell me that democrats are actually the ones doing it? What's that you say? That no tea party people have been involved in any proven threats or violence? So MSNBC, NBC, CBS and ABC have been lying to me all along??

    April 19, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. Liam

    Just another peace loving liberal. She is lucky he did not bite off her finger.

    April 19, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. Kathleen

    I think it is the Democrats that have been threatened! Let's talk about that! And could the Tea Partiers settle down.

    April 19, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |