Armed Man Arrested Near Justice Brett Kavanaugh's Maryland Home Came with 'Intent to Kill': Police

A California man was reportedly carrying at least one weapon and burglary tools when he was arrested near the Supreme Court justice’s home

Brett Kavanaugh
Brett Kavanaugh. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP/Shutterstock

An armed man was arrested early Wednesday near the Maryland home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, Calif., was charged with attempted murder of a Supreme Court Justice, according to a press release from the U.S. attorney in the District of Maryland.

Two U.S. Deputy Marshals spotted the suspect getting out of a taxi with a backpack and a suitcase outside Kavanaugh's home early Wednesday morning, according to an affidavit filed in support of the charges. Dressed in black, Roske looked at the marshals and then walked away before calling Montgomery County Emergency Communications Center, the press release says.

On the call, Roske allegedly said he was having suicidal thoughts and had traveled from California to Maryland to kill Kavanaugh, 57.

After arresting Roske and confiscating his backpack and suitcase, law enforcement officers allegedly found a black tactical chest rig and tactical knife, a pistol with two magazines and ammunition, pepper spray, zip ties, tools and other items, according to the press release.

The suspect allegedly told detectives at the Montgomery County Police Department he was upset about the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion on abortion rights and the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 students and two adults.

Shiera Goff, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Police Department, told The Washington Post, which first reported the arrest, that authorities believed the man "came in from out of state with the intent to kill" the justice.

"This kind of behavior is obviously behavior that we will not tolerate," Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday, according to CNN. "Threats of violence and actual violence against the justices of course strike at the heart of our democracy and we will do everything we can to prevent them and to hold people who do them accountable."

The U.S. Supreme Court is seen on September 02, 2021 in Washington, DC
Kevin Dietsch/Getty

Following the leak of a draft opinion indicating the Supreme Court will likely overturn two landmark court cases that guarantee abortion access nationwide, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo obtained by Axios last month warned of an increase in threats of violence from extremists on both sides of the abortion issue.

Threats targeting justices, lawmakers and other public officials, clergy and health care providers "are likely to persist and may increase leading up to and following the issuing of the Court's official ruling," the memo stated, according to Axios.

Heightened security has been in place around the Supreme Court and its justices, with a fence up around its building in Washington, increased police presence outside the justices' homes and beefed-up details accompanying any who have traveled since the draft opinion was leaked.

On Tuesday, the DHS issued a new bulletin warning of a growing domestic terror threat nationwide. The agency said upcoming "high-profile events could be exploited to justify acts of violence against a range of possible targets," and cited the impending Supreme Court decision on abortion as an example.

"Individuals who advocate both for and against abortion have, on public forums, encouraged violence, including against government, religious, and reproductive healthcare personnel and facilities, as well as those with opposing ideologies," the DHS bulletin released Tuesday said.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan spoke out about Wednesday's incident in a statement. "I call on leaders in both parties in Washington to strongly condemn these actions in no uncertain terms," the Republican lawmaker said. "It is vital to our constitutional system that the justices be able to carry out their duties without fear of violence against them and their families."

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