Florida lawmaker threatened over immigration bill

The Miami HeraldFebruary 2, 2011 

Massachusetts police have arrested a resident of that state who allegedly sent a threatening e-mail to Florida state Rep. Will Snyder over the Republican's proposal to bring an Arizona-style immigration law to Florida.

``You better just stop that ridiculous law if you value your and your family's lives, a-----, the e-mail said.

Snyder told The Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times that police had identified the suspect as Manuel E. Pintado, 47.

``It's a pretty thoughtless letter, don't you think?'' said Snyder in his trademark low-key style.

Snyder said he received the e-mail just one hour after the Tucson shooting rampage targeting Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz. Snyder referred the matter to the Martin County Sheriff's Office on Jan. 9, and the office soon contacted authorities in Northampton, Mass.

Massachusetts police said Pintado acknowledged sending the e-mail from a local Starbucks. A self-described ``political activist,'' Pintado said he was concerned Snyder wanted to undo the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees citizenship to those born in the United States.

Pintado said he didn't mean to kill Snyder, but ``was glad the e-mail made [Snyder] nervous,'' according to an arrest affidavit.

Pintado was charged with attempted corruption by threat of a public official and written threat to kill or injure, which are second- and third-degree felonies, respectively.

Snyder, a former Miami police officer who now lives in Stuart, said the incident shows that heated rhetoric is an unfortunate part of public service.

To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.

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