Tamarac man accused of threatening Democratic members of Congress

Federal authorities say John Kless, 49, left threatening voicemails

TAMARAC, Fla. – A South Florida man was arrested Friday after leaving several threatening voicemails to Democratic members of Congress, federal authorities said.

John Kless, 49, of Tamarac, is charged with making threatening communications. He appeared before a federal judge Friday morning.

According to the criminal complaint, Kless left the threatening messages Tuesday at the offices of U.S. Reps. Eric Swalwell, D-California, Rashida Tlaib, D-Michigan, and Corey Booker, D-New Jersey.

Below are excerpts of the threats Kless is alleged to have made to Swalwell:

"F--- you, Eric c---sucker."

"Y'all mother---ers don't give a f--- about 9/11 or all the illegals coming in or all the n---ers on f--ing welfare, but all you f---ing care about is taking guns. B----, you're gonna f---ing pay for that s---, n---er. You're gonna die."

"You'll be your death bed motherf---er, along with all the rest of you Democrats. So if you want death, keep that s--- up, mother---er."

"Eat s---, Democrat s---. Communist f--- bag."

Below are excerpts of the threats Kless is alleged to have made to Tlaib:

"Hey Taliban. You got f---ing nerve, bitch. Tell your Taliban friend to shut the f--- up about 9/11. This ain't (President Donald) Trump's fault, b----. It's all your people's fault. You're the mother---ers who drove the planes into the buildings, b----."

"'Cuz the day when the bell tolls, whore, and this country comes to a war, there will be no more threats. Your life will be on the f---ing line. All of you."

"You're an abomination, just like faggots, mother---er."

"F--- off. I wish all of you the worst. You can go f--- off in life. F--- you and f--- Mohammed, too."

Below are excerpts of the threats Kless is alleged to have made to Booker:

"You're a f---ing disgrace. We need to kill all you motherf---ers, man, every f---ing one of you, man."

"You dumb f---ing n---er. Shut the f--- up. Shut up about 9/11 and shut the (unintelligible) and tell that mother---ing towel head to shut the f--- up. We're going to have a war in this country mother---ers. You're going to be the mother---ers that pay. Don't you worry, you government officials will be in the graves where you f---ing belong. And all you black mother---ers want to join these f---ing Muslims, go right ahead."

"Tell your f---ing colleague with the towel on her head to shut the f--- up about 9/11, you f---ing monkey."

U.S. Capitol police said Kless also made profane and harassing calls to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-California, in February "concerning Congress taking away his guns, abortion, illegal immigration and Muslims in Congress."

Democratic U.S. Reps. Eric Swalwell and Rashida Tlaib and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker were the targets of threatening messages made by a Tamarac man, federal authorities say.

Local 10 News reporter Andrew Perez went to Kless' apartment Friday, where a woman, believed to be his wife, said the home had been raided by authorities and she had had enough.

"I'm sorry but I have had enough. I had probably 12 men with ARs and lasers -- they broke my son's bed, they took my property. I've had enough," she said.

The woman later left the apartment with a young man and the duo gave Local 10's camera the middle finger as they drove away. 

Neighbors told Perez they were shocked by Kless' arrest.

"I would have never guessed," one neighbor said. "I've spoken to him a couple of times. He seemed so nice." 

Swalwell and Booker have announced they will seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

"I'm grateful to the Capitol Police and Florida law enforcement for protecting me, my staff, and our constituents from a threat made this week," Swalwell said in a statement. "I'm running for President to make changes to our gun laws through the democratic process. There should be a respectful debate on this issue. But threatening violence is the lowest form of communication and has no place in our community. Further, if your response to a lawmaker proposing to make it harder for dangerous people to get dangerous weapons is to threaten to kill that lawmaker, you have proven exactly why we need more restrictions on firearm possession."

Broward County voter records show that Kless is registered to vote as an independent.

About the Authors:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.