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Man accused of threatening governor, Jewish community says emails were cries for help 

  • Roberts  Concord Police 

  • Roberts stands before a judge for his video arraignment at the Concord District Court on Wednesday.  LEAH WILLINGHAM / Monitor staff

  • Roberts stands before a judge for his video arraignment at the Concord District Court on Wednesday.  LEAH WILLINGHAM/ Monitor staff



Monitor staff
Wednesday, December 05, 2018

A Concord man accused of sending email threats targeting the governor and the city’s Jewish community told officers he had no intention of hurting anyone, but sent the messages in an attempt to ask for help, court records show.

Brian Roberts, 38, who is accused of sending emails Friday to the CIA making threats such as “Going to shoot Gov state of NH no matter what” and “I’d kill every Jew I ever..look at,” said he suffers from untreated schizophrenia, hears voices and believes the government is tracking him with a GPS device, according to court records.

Roberts said he did not remember sending the messages, but that it sounded like something he would write, according to records. He said he often visits government websites and sends messages through “contact us” links.

“Mr. Roberts explained that because he believes that no one listens to him and gives him help that he needs, he goes to government websites in an attempt to get the help that he needs,” State Trooper Kevin LeBlanc wrote in an affidavit.

Roberts told police that because no one ever answers his messages, he gets “frustrated while typing” and “goes on rants.”

Roberts said he has no access to weapons, is currently homeless, and also threatened his own life, court records show. He told police that he had recently seen a psychologist and was unable to get medication.

Roberts was arrested Tuesday and charged with misdemeanor criminal threatening. His arraignment was scheduled for Wednesday at 11 a.m., but the hearing was postponed until Thursday so the court could appoint Roberts an attorney. He will remain detained overnight because of the danger he poses to the community at large and to himself, a Concord district court judge ruled Wednesday.

At the continued hearing, the judge will consider bail conditions and possibly admitting him to the state hospital.

Roberts sent six emails to the CIA on Friday. Roberts had previously been questioned by the FBI in Seattle over similar emails to government websites, according to court records.

He said that he had been visiting many government sites, including the CIA’s, frequently for two years. He was willing to speak with police, officers said, and said he didn’t understand why he was being questioned about the emails. He said he believed their questioning was part of a “government conspiracy” and that he is being “terrorized by everyone.”

Police said Roberts’s emails didn’t follow a coherent structure. He wrote about being in physical pain and feeling like he was in a dream. In several of them, he mentioned people of the Jewish faith.

“As I walk through the Concord State Capital walkway (Jew Candle arrangement) I put my hand to my ear and middle finger to the air. Air Gun. Point with my middle finger to the air “up top”. Like the Muslim building that appears downtown seattle ... place ‘flips out like a video game,’ ” Roberts wrote at 4:08 p.m. on Nov. 30.

Roberts also threatened New Hampshire’s governor – Chris Sununu – who he told officers he believed was a man named “John Sununu Jr.”

Officers who spoke with him described him as “rambling” and “paranoid.”

“He found it odd that people he thought were strangers would say ‘hello’ to him on the street,” LeBlanc wrote.

Officers said that he said he went off on continuous tangents during their conversation. He said he had visited a psychologist and been referred to another doctor.

Roberts is originally from Lancaster, police said. He told police he had recently traveled to Washington and Utah before returning to New Hampshire in September. Staff from the Friendly Kitchen said he ate dinner there every night and was living in a tent near the property.

The arrest for the threats was not Roberts’s only run-in with local police; he has been arrested for disorderly conduct twice in the last five years, according to court records. In 2013, he was arrested outside Cumberland Farms on North Main Street in Concord for drinking a 24-ounce can of beer outside the property and shouting “obscene language” in front of children, documents show.

Daniel McDonald III, the Concord police officer who booked Roberts after that arrest, said he “ranted about getting weapons” and “shooting it out with police officers,” according to court records.