A Long Island man has been arrested for making terroristic threats toward Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin and other Trump supporters, then nearly running over a campaign worker in his vehicle as he sped away.
Martin Astrof is said to have “become irate” at Zeldin’s headquarters in Suffolk County, lashing out by threatening to kill the Congressman, kill his supporters, and other Republicans that side with the President.
Authorities allege that Astrof then “backed his car up in an aggressive manner nearly striking (a campaign) worker.”
Aside from the felony charge of making a terroristic threat, Astrof was also booked on second-degree reckless endangerment charges.
Extreme calls for harassment of Trump officials and supporters by prominent Democrats have consequences. This needs to stop or these incidents may become more frequent. https://t.co/gSJc7dRsnP
— GOP (@GOP) July 7, 2018
Zeldin has been a strong voice of support for President Trump in an extremely liberal area.
Zeldin identified the campaign volunteer who was targeted as Donato Panico, whom he described as “a great American, (a) supporter of President Trump, and one of my campaign (volunteers).”
“In the US, political scores are settled at the ballot box,” he seethed, “not by trying to kill your political opponents.”
In the US, political scores are settled at the ballot box, not by trying to kill your political opponents. Donato Panico is a great American, supporter of @realDonaldTrump & one of my campaign vols. He shouldn’t have been targeted like this today for his passion & involvement. https://t.co/Rh8Ae6MR4x
— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) July 7, 2018
Panico is a former deli owner who Zeldin invited as a guest to attend President Trump’s first State of the Union address.
He was recognized for his efforts during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in which he spent 10 straight days feeding first responders three meals per day and sleeping in his catering truck.
“Donato embodies the values so many across Long Island look up to, and it is my honor to attend the State of the Union address alongside someone who has sacrificed so much to better the lives of others,” Zeldin said in a statement.
Donato Panico will be my guest for @realDonaldTrump‘s #StateOfTheUnion. Donato has dedicated much of his life to serving our 1st responders, police & vets. He recently closed his Smithtown deli to dedicate more time to his org @Heros4OurHeroes. https://t.co/zUjRcuHeky
— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) January 25, 2018
After 9/11, Donato Panico drove from his LI deli to Ground Zero to feed the 1st responders. In thanks, 1 of the 1st responders gave him a flag flown near the pile. This flag has also been flown in Iraq & today I gave it to @realdonaldtrump in the Oval Office at Donato’s request. pic.twitter.com/5GdEc60hmA
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) June 21, 2018
That’s the kind of man Astrof wanted to kill because he disagrees with his politics.
California Rep. Maxine Waters has come under fire of late for encouraging leftists to harass and intimidate members of the Trump administration.
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she told supporters at a rally.
This is where inciting violence and harassment has led.
Waters actions led Florida Congressman Ron DeSantis to call her “the pied piper for the unhinged left with her rantings and ravings.”
“I don’t think she’s fit to serve” in Congress, he added.
Calling on supporters to harass your political opponents is beneath the office she holds. At a minimum, she needs to be censured for her actions.
Next time, the person threatening to kill Republicans may not miss with his car, or whatever weapon they choose.