A Miami Gardens man has been arrested after threatening to kill a Florida lawmaker, police said.
Miami-Dade police said Steve St. Felix tagged Florida Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, on a threatening Facebook post Sunday.
The Facebook post read, “I’ll kill your ass and you better not show up to the next rec meeting.”
Police said St. Felix removed the post from Facebook a short time later.
Diaz told police that, because of recent attacks on government officials, he was in fear for his life and the safety of his family.
“I rest easy knowing that the suspect’s been apprehended, and I think that the threat has been dealt with,” Diaz told Local 10 News reporter Sanela Sabovic.
According to an arrest affidavit, St. Felix told police when he was questioned about the post that he is “fed up with the Republican Party.”
“It was something that I reported immediately to the police, and they took it very seriously because of what happened in Washington, D.C. recently with (U.S. Rep. Steve) Scalise,” Diaz said.
Police said St. Felix apologized for making the threat and said he didn’t mean to harm Diaz. He also said that he wasn’t taking his medication when he posted the message.
“Because this gentleman was unknown to me, it really escalated the situation in my mind and made me very reluctant to be out in public without a police presence,” Diaz said.
St. Felix’s mother, who did not want to give her name, said her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia several years ago by doctors. She said that he would never hurt anyone that he is just “ill.”
His mother went on to say that her son was not feeling well over the weekend because he didn’t take his medications. That’s when he made the Facebook post.
She said St. Felix graduated from Florida A&M University and had held good jobs before mental illness took a toll on his life.
St. Felix was being held on a $500,000 bond at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.
His attorney said St. Felix suffers from mental health issues.
“This is an opportunity to remind people that they have to take mental health very seriously,” Diaz said.
Diaz is resigning from his seat in the state House to run for the Florida Senate.
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