Pin It
Favorite

Man accused of Charlottesville vigil threat may have history of troubling posts 

A 45-year-old San Luis Obispo landscaper accused of posting a violent threat against the organizers of a local vigil for the victims of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, appears to have previously posted racially charged rants on his Facebook page.

click to enlarge TROUBLING POSTS A Facebook account that appears to belong to a SLO man accused of threatening organizers of a vigil for victims of racist violence in Charlottesville contained screeds that called for violence against some minorities and other groups. - SCREENCAP BY CHRIS MCGUINNESS
  • Screencap By Chris Mcguinness
  • TROUBLING POSTS A Facebook account that appears to belong to a SLO man accused of threatening organizers of a vigil for victims of racist violence in Charlottesville contained screeds that called for violence against some minorities and other groups.

Daniel Joshua Phares is currently facing a misdemeanor charge for allegedly threating to kill the organizers behind the Aug. 14 Outshine the Darkness vigil for Heather Heyer and other victims of white supremacist violence in a now-deleted message on the event's Facebook page. Posts dating back to 2013 on what appears to be his personal Facebook page, target several groups of individuals including Muslims, interracial couples, and liberals.

Phares allegedly posted the threat the day after the vigil, which was organized by Woman's March SLO and the Democrats of San Luis Obispo club. SLO Police Department officials have declined to release screenshots of the comment, but said it was a "specific death threat."

In the wake of his arrest, several members of the public raised concerns about his past postings on social media. The posts, which show up on the Facebook account bearing Phares' name and photo, contain racially inflammatory language and appear to condone violence against some minorities and other groups. In a post made shortly after the 2016 presidential election, Phares seems to call for police to intimidate interracial couples.

"If it were up to me the united states [sic] would be swimming in ruthless militarized cops that would relentlessly harass mixed race and mixed attractiveness couples, enforce curfew laws and generate rivers of blood from every lowlife ghetto," the post stated.

Other posts target Muslims and Islam, including an August 2015 post that said Europe was in a "stage 4 Muslim infestation," and another in September 2016 advocated for destroying mosques.

"I believe western society consider the destruction of all mosques a moral imperative," it read.

Some of the posts are more explicit in their calls for violence. The September 2016 post also wished "Russian assassins" success in "eliminating" American financier and philanthropist George Soros. A May 2013 post expressed anger over "low life [sic] knuckleheads" seeking to publish a list of gun owners.

"We should also produce a list of 'Liberals that deserved to be dragged out of their homes and shot,'" the post read. "It's a gift."

Phares did not return requests for comment from New Times.

SLOPD Sgt. Chad Pfaar told New Times that investigators did review some of the past posts, but said none of them rose to the level of being criminal.

"There were some fairly outlandish statements that kind of condoned violence," Pfaar said. "But [the vigil threat] was different because it was a specific threat and it was directed at specific individuals."

Pfaar declined to state the specific wording of the post that lead to Phares' arrest. McKinley Bruckner, a student organizer for Cal Poly's Students for Quality Education, said the post was only seen by a few of the event's organizers before it was taken down.

"He said, 'I'm going to kill you all and make you like it,'" Bruckner said.

Although he did not see the post firsthand, Bruckner said he became aware of its contents after speaking with those involved in co-organizing the event who had spoken with police as part of the investigation.

The Democrats of San Luis Obispo club did not respond to a request for comment. Women's March SLO declined to comment on the threat, but released a statement on its Facebook page addressing the incident.

"We are saddened that Outshine the Darkness, an event focused on peace, inclusion, and honoring the memories of Heather Heyer and the State Troopers Cullen and Bates, has been tarnished by this threat," the post read. "While this threat is serious and must be addressed, we remain focused on the important work being done in our community, and nationwide, to fight white supremacy and hate-filled divisiveness."

Phares was charged with one count of making a criminal threat by the SLO County District Attorney's Office Aug. 24. He is currently out on bond and slated to appear for an arraignment in SLO County Superior Court Aug. 31. If convicted, Phares could face up to one year in county jail or serve time in state prison. Δ


Tags:

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Search, Find, Enjoy

Submit an event

Trending Now

© 2017 New Times San Luis Obispo
Powered by Foundation