YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WOIO) - The Anti-Defamation League is speaking out after a man was arrested by New Middletown police in conjunction with the FBI after allegedly making “a credible online threat to the Youngstown JCC and Jewish community.”
According to the Cleveland Division of the FBI, 20-year-old James Reardon posted an online video depicting himself being identified as the shooter at a local Jewish Community Center, although that shooting had not actually taken place.
The same day New Middletown Police were informed of the video, a local search warrant was obtained and executed at Reardon’s parents’ home on Friday, according to the FBI.
WKBN reported that police and the FBI searched his house and seized multiple “assault weapons,” and a gas mask.
The Cleveland Division of the FBI said a local arrest warrant was also executed, and Reardon was taken into custody without incident.
The ADL said their Cleveland regional office was told that the FBI notified all of area synagogues and deployed additional security.
The Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office said Reardon was arrested by New Middletown Police on Saturday for telecommunications harassment with purpose to threaten and aggravated menacing.
According to the sheriff, Reardon is being held on $250,000 bond.
ADL Cleveland Regional Director James Pasch said they “do not have any belief that there is still a threat," but “the police are investigating other potential suspects, requiring us to remain vigilant and to maintain our heightened security presence.”
In a statement to 19 News, Pasch also said:
“Today’s arrest is reminder of the continued rise of white nationalism and violent extremism that we are seeing nation wide. The man whom authorities arrested today appears to have attended the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, where he announced to the world that he was a white nationalist who wanted, ‘a homeland for white people.’ Just as we have in every moment since that Charlottesville rally, we will remain galvanized and energized in stopping white supremacists from spreading hate. We remain steadfast in our commitment to work side by side with law enforcement and community partners to continue to stop potential attacks and threats.”
Executive Vice President of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation Andy Lipkin also gave the following statement:
“I am so very grateful to the local FBI and law enforcement for their swift and strong response to this matter and for their continued willingness to keep the lines of communication open at all times. It is because of their efforts that a very positive resolution to this matter has occurred. The positive result here is a clear example of the importance of monitoring social media to identify credible, hate-fueled threats before they are acted on.”