Two men were arrested during a protest against the Republican health care bill at the Tucson office of Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake on Thursday morning. According to the Pima County Sheriff’s Office, the men were arrested shortly after 9 am. While both men face third degree criminal trespass charges, one of the men also faces charges of threats and intimidation.
Mark Prichard, 59, was instructed to leave the property but failed to comply. When he stepped back onto the property, he was arrested. Prichard is the one also facing charges of threats and intimidation due to comments made to a staffer at Senator Flake’s office.
The staffer informed deputies that Prichard threatened to shoot Flake, referencing the attempted assassination of Republicans as they practiced at a Virginia baseball park for a charity baseball game. Senator Flake was at the baseball field when the attack occurred. He was one of the first to render aide to Majority Whip Steve Scalise once the gunfire stopped.
Prichard’s threats were reportedly as follows:
Prichard: You know how liberals are going to solve the Republican problem?
Him: They are going to get better aim. That last guy tried, but he needed better aim. We will get better aim.
Scalise is still fighting for his life in the hospital after being shot by a Bernie Sanders supporter who wanted to kill Republicans. His condition was downgraded Wednesday night and he was returned to ICU after developing an infection.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Office announced the charges Prichard is facing with this statement.
Upon further review of the evidence and statements made by Mark Prichard to the staff at Sen Flake’s office, he has also been charged with Threats and Intimidation (Class 1 Misdemeanor) on top of the 3rd Degree Criminal Trespass charge.
News of the arrest was tweeted by Frank Thorpe V, a producer and off-air reporter covering Congress for NBC News.
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 6, 2017
Stephen Miller, founder of The Wilderness and contributor at Heat Street, poked at NBC, CNN and other mainstream media outlet’s obvious hypocrisy, bias, and double standard with this tweet.
So of course this is where you guys go through his entire social media history & publish it now, right? https://t.co/FmqS4AalZl
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) July 6, 2017
In addition to Prichard, 70-year-old Patrick Diehl is also facing third degree criminal trespass charges after attempting to force his way into Flake’s office. Both men have been booked into the Pima County Jail.
Jason Samuels, a spokesman for Flake’s office, told local station KGUN9 that the threat has also been forwarded to the Capitol Hill Police.