Rep. Garbarino confirms that someone threatened to kill him
A Lake Ronkonkoma man was arrested for allegedly threatening to kill a Long Island congressman who voted in favor of President Joe Biden's infrastructure bill.
Republican Rep. Andrew Garbarino confirmed to News 12 Friday afternoon that someone threatened his life.
"I never thought I would receive a death threat over voting for paving roads and clean water," Garbarino said.
Garbarino was one of 13 House Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill. Former President Donald Trump reportedly called those lawmakers "disloyal" and others in the Republican party tweeted that they were "traitors."
Garbarino says calling him and the other legislators' traitors because they voted for infrastructure is causing people to get very angry and is coming from nowhere.
Kenneth Gasper, 64, is a retiree of the Long Island Rail Road.
According to court documents, Gasper called Garbarino's Massapequa Park office Monday afternoon.
The staffer told police that "the unknown caller was extremely upset and continually cursed at complainant while stating that the victim was a 'RINO', and he was unhappy with the victim's vote."
RINO is an acronym that stands for "Republican In Name Only."
Police say the death threat came next.
"It went like this--'If I see that mother f'er in the street, I'm going to kill him," says Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder.
Ryder says there is zero tolerance for that behavior for any of their residents.
Gasper's attorney, John Ray, put out a statement saying in part: "Ken is an ordinary American who became offended when politician Garbarino became an overnight Democrat," adding that Gasper "never made any threat."
"It was apparently overheated conversation between him and the aide, and the aide misconstrued what he said, in a way that, was just in error," Ray says.
Gasper's neighbors in Lake Ronkonkoma didn't want to speak on camera, but one person said Gasper and his wife are good neighbors.
Garbarino also told News 12 that he worries for his staffers over other incidents. He says police had to be called to his Massapequa Park office after someone came in yelling and banging on his office door.
The investigation is still ongoing.