Following an investigation conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Secret Service, a Kansas man has been charged with making threats against President Joe Biden, according to the New York Times.
As described in federal court documents, Scott Ryan Merryman stands accused of making a series of threatening comments over the course of three days, beginning with a call he placed to Independence, Kansas police on Tuesday.
At that time, Merryman allegedly stated his plan to travel to the nation’s capital to see Biden, which in turn prompted the Secret Service to make contact with him on Wednesday, at which point he informed agents that God had told him to see the president in order to take off “the head of the serpent in the heart of the nation,” though he insisted that the reference was not to the commander in chief, and no threat against him was implied.
An interview was then conducted between agents and Merryman in a Cracker Barrel parking lot that same day, and a subsequent search yielded three rounds of ammunition as well as what is known as a spotting scope, but no weaponry, according to NBC News.
When asked why he was in possession of the items, particularly the scope, Merryman indicated that it was to assist in him “doing recon,” and that he was traveling to D.C. to “deliver a message to President Biden,” namely, that “people were fed up with the divisiveness in the country and to turn back to God.”
The next day, Merryman placed a call to the switchboard at the White House, warning that he was on his way to “cut off the head of the snake/Antichrist,” and when contacted later by a Secret Service agent, he declared that he was “coming for” the president.
Also submitted in support of the charges against Merryman were images allegedly taken from a Facebook account associated with him in which members of the U.S. Secret Service were characterized as “agents of darkness.”
As a result of the investigation, Merryman must now answer in the U.S. District Court of Maryland to charges of making threats against the president and of engaging in interstate communication containing a threat to harm, according to NBC News.
Regardless of the mental health challenges Mr. Merryman may be facing, it is crucial that any threat against the president of the United States is treated with the utmost seriousness, and hopefully the accused in this case will receive both the justice – and the help – he requires.