‘We will surround the motherf—ing White House’: Feds arrest suburban Chicago man for threatening inauguration

Louis Capriotti, 45, of Chicago Heights, has been charged with transmitting a threat, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

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Dirksen Federal Courthouse window

Dirksen Federal Courthouse

Sun-Times file

Louis Capriotti allegedly called for months, screaming as he left voicemails for members of Congress filled with profanity, racism and vague threats.

Then, in late December, the feds say one call from the Chicago Heights man amounted to a direct threat on next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. They say Capriotti claimed that, if people “think that Joe Biden is going to put his hand on the Bible and walk into that f---ing White House on Jan. 20th, they’re sadly f---ing mistaken.”

“We will surround the motherf---ing White House and we will kill any motherf---ing Democrat that steps on the motherf---ing lawn,” Capriotti, 45, allegedly said in a voicemail left for a member of Congress from New Jersey.

Though Capriotti allegedly made that comment Dec. 29, roughly one week before last week’s breach of the U.S. Capitol during the Electoral College vote count, it is all the more ominous now that the FBI has warned of armed protests across the country ahead of the inauguration.


Louis Capriotti

Cook County Sheriff

Prosecutors say Capriotti was arrested near his home at 5:42 a.m. Tuesday and is charged with transmitting a threat. During a court appearance Tuesday afternoon, a judge said Capriotti would be held in custody at least until a detention hearing Friday.

The members of Congress who allegedly received voicemails from Capriotti are not named in an 11-page criminal complaint filed against him. But the feds allege he “often screamed while leaving the messages” and spoke of raising “mother f---ing hell.”

The U.S. Capitol Police contacted the FBI in Chicago about Capriotti in January 2020, according to the complaint. On Feb. 7, 2020, agents interviewed Capriotti in Orland Park about earlier voicemails he allegedly left for members of Congress dating back to 2017. 

During that interview, Capriotti allegedly verified it was his voice on the phone and that some of his messages could be interpreted as hateful and threatening. But he allegedly told agents he was “just f---ing with” members of Congress and “didn’t mean any ill will.”

He also told them he never served in the military, despite claims to the contrary made in the voicemails.

Agents then allegedly told Capriotti he could face charges if he continued to make the calls.

But the calls continued, the feds say. And in November and December, Capriotti allegedly left messages for members of Congress from Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 

On Nov. 18, Capriotti allegedly called a member of Congress from Michigan and said he was “not from your state, but I am a nine-year Marine, active duty.” He said he had “killed” several “terrorists” and would “continue to kill them because that’s what I am trained to do.” He also allegedly said “in the next couple weeks, some big news is about to go down” and certain people “are going to be astonished of what’s going to be revealed.”

The same day, Capriotti allegedly left another voicemail calling another member of Congress from Michigan a “terrorist.” He said if that person believed Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris were “going to walk into the White House” it would be a mistake.

“In a couple weeks, everything will be revealed of what’s going on,” Capriotti allegedly said. 

On Dec. 4, Capriotti allegedly left a voicemail for a member of Congress from Pennsylvania, indicating that person should “choke in hell.”

Finally, on Dec. 29, Capriotti allegedly left a profane voicemail for the member of Congress from New Jersey. That’s when he allegedly left the threatening comment about Biden, adding that “Democrats are f---ing terrorists.”

At the end of the voicemail, Capriotti allegedly said he’d “like to put one right in” the “f---ing dome” of a former New Jersey governor, who was also not named in the complaint.

Capriotti was previously charged with harassment by telephone in 2015, Cook County court records show. It was not immediately clear who the victim in that case was, but records show Capriotti pleaded guilty in October 2016 and was sentenced to two years of probation. That ended satisfactorily in October 2018.

Cook County prosecutors also brought charges against Capriotti on five other occasions between 2007 and 2014. He was arrested in southwest suburban Orland Park in 2008 and charged with violating an order of protection. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 75 days in the Cook County Jail, records show.

Two years later, he was charged with domestic battery stemming from another incident in Orland Park. Prosecutors dropped the charge two months later, but court records show the victim in the case requested an order of protection against Capriotti.

Four years later, Capriotti was charged with violating an order of protection in south suburban Matteson, according to court records. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 days in the Cook County Jail.

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