A man who allegedly left a YouTube comment advocating the killing of police officers was arrested on Monday in Colorado Springs, a spokesperson for the U.S. District Attorney's office confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
Jeremiah M. Perez, 33, allegedly left a YouTube comment earlier this month threatening police officers.
Using the username "Vets Hunting Cops," Perez wrote:
SINCE DARREN WILSON our group has killed 6 retired sheriffs and cops......because of this event we will hunt two more in colorado this week.....for every innocent citizen that cops kill WE, VETERANS WILL KILL RETIRED HELPLESS COPS." The threat further said, "COPS ARE THE REAL ENEMIES OF FREEDOM LOVING AMERICANS and TIME TO STRIKE BACK IN ALL OUT WAR IS NOW.
On Dec. 17, Google contacted the FBI's San Francisco bureau to report the comment, and the agency immediately opened an investigation. After determining it came from an IP address in Colorado Springs, the agency notified local police and Colorado's FBI office.
FBI agents contacted Perez on Dec. 22 after determining that he knew police would see his comment and hoped it would instill fear, according to Colorado Springs police.
"He intended to scare law enforcement," said Jeff Dorschner, a spokesperson for the U.S. District Attorney's Office. "Because of that intention, his comments cross the line of free speech and become a criminal threat."
Police reported that a forensic examination of Perez's computer confirmed that the threatening YouTube comment came from his IP address.
According to the affidavit, Perez claims he never intended to carry out the police killings, but Dorschner says that police must still "air on the side of caution."
Perez will appear in court on Dec. 29 for a Preliminary Hearing to determine probable cause, as well as for a Detention Hearing, in which the District Attorney's office will ask the judge to hold Perez in custody without bond pending the resolution of his case.