‘Proud Boys’ leader says email threats are not them, tells Alachua County they want to help

Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 6:28 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The Alachua County Supervisor of Elections Office confirmed that hundreds of voters have received threatening messages demanding they vote for President Trump-- an issue that at least three other states are facing. The email’s sender claimed to be affiliated with the ‘Proud Boys’ group.

In one example, the sender threatens the voter-- saying they have his address, know he’s a Democrat and that if he does not change his affiliation to Republican and vote for President Trump, they will “come after” him.

The email sender claims to be the 'Proud Boys.'
The email sender claims to be the 'Proud Boys.'(Claudia Bellofatto)

A spokesperson for Alachua County Supervisor of Election’s Office, Thomas Pyche, said the leader of the local Proud Boy’s organization reached out to them. The leader, referred to as ‘Warlord Tarrio’ online, said his group was not affiliated with the emails.

“We did talk to the chairman of the Proud Boys organization," Pyche said. "He offered to help in any way that he could. We are continuing to send information to law enforcement as we receive it but we want folks to know how serious we take these types of threats, regardless of where they come from.”

Some voters, like Alachua County resident Robert Bryant, remain skeptical.

“He says it’s a false flag operation but of course they would deny that. I’m skeptical. I think it’s the real deal," Bryant said.

According to Pyche, Alachua is not the only county whose voters have received these threats. He said regardless of who sent the messages, it’s a matter they don’t take lightly.

“This is something we are taking very seriously. Regardless of the source of this, we want to make sure voters know that we take their right to vote extremely seriously.”

The Supervisor of Elections Office recommends that anyone who receives this message contacts law enforcement. You can reach Alachua County Sheriff’s office at (352) 955-1818.

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