A man carrying a gun and a knife was arrested Wednesday near Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s residence in Maryland after attempting to kill him.
Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, California, was charged with the attempted murder of a Supreme Court Justice.
Roske was dressed in black when he arrived in a cab shortly after 1 am in front of Kavanaugh’s home. He had a Glock 17 pistol, ammunition, a knife, pepper spray, duct tape and other items that he told police he would use to break into Kavanaugh’s home and execute him.
He said he bought the gun to kill him and would later kill himself, according to the affidavit. Roske told police that he was upset about a draft opinion leaked to the press that suggested the Supreme Court was about to strike down Roe. v. Wade. He also said he was upset about the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre and believed Kavanaugh would vote to relax gun control laws.
As he got out of the cab, Roske was spotted by two bailiffs who are part of the 24-hour security given to judges after the draft opinion leaked last month. But Roske was only taken into custody after he called 911 in Montgomery County, Maryland. Roske was still on the phone when Montgomery County police arrived on the scene, the affidavit states.
In his initial appearance in federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland, Roske paused several times before answering routine questions from Judge Timothy J. Sullivan. When asked if he understood what was happening and if he was thinking clearly, he paused and said, “I think I have a reasonable understanding, but I wouldn’t say I’m thinking clearly.” Roske stated that he was taking medication, but did not say why. He also said that he is a college graduate.
Roske’s next court date is tentatively set for June 22. The attempted murder charge carries a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison. Earlier Wednesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters: “This type of behavior is obviously behavior that we will not tolerate. Threats of violence and actual violence against judges, of course, strike at the heart of our democracy and we will do everything we can to prevent them and hold accountable the people who commit them.”
President Joe Biden praised authorities for quickly apprehending the man, White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said in an email.