A Rockaway Beach man was arrested by the U.S. Secret Service on the morning of Monday, Jan. 10, for allegedly threatening to kidnap and kill former President Donald Trump if he refused to leave the White House after losing the 2020 election.
Thomas Welnicki, 72, is awaiting his arraignment in Brooklyn federal court on a criminal complaint that was filed Saturday, Jan. 8, and unsealed Monday, Jan. 10, that details how he first made his intention known in a July 2020 interview with U.S. Capitol Police and in subsequent phone calls to the Secret Service.
According to the criminal complaint, Welnicki vowed to “acquire weapons” and “take him down.”
Although the former president is not identified by name in the complaint, he is referred to as “Individual 1,” according to a footnote in the complaint that indicates that “Individual 1” served as U.S. President from Jan. 20, 2017, to Jan. 20, 2021.
Welnicki bragged about how easy it was for him to acquire a firearm and added, “I don’t want to hurt anyone, but I will stand up to fascism,” during his interview with Capitol Police.
On or about Jan. 4 of this year, Welnicki called the Secret Service’s Long Island office from his own cellphone and left two voice messages in which he threatened to kill Trump as well as 12 unnamed members of Congress.
“Oh yeah that’s a threat, come and arrest me,” Welnicki said on the first voicemail message. “I will do anything I can to take out [Individual 1] and his 12 monkeys … If I had the opportunity to do this in Manhattan that would be awesome.”
Elnicki called the Secret Service’s New York City Duty Desk three times from his cellphone on Nov. 8 and identified himself by name each time, according to the complaint. In the first message, he repeatedly referred to “Individual 1” as “Hitler” and stated, “I will do everything I can to make sure [Individual 1] is dead.”
Welnicki allegedly called the duty desk on Dec. 2 and stated, “the new Civil War could break out and taking up arms against the government is justified when ballots don’t matter.” He then added that he owned a .32-caliber firearm.
The U.S. The Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York provided no additional comment.