A Melbourne man is being held in federal custody on accusations he made threats on his Facebook page to kill President Barack Obama, according to Local 6 News partner Florida Today.
Court documents say Christopher Castillo, 28, made similar threats when U.S. Secret Service agents and Brevard County investigators questioned him just two days after Obama was re-elected.
Castillo’s father told FLORIDA TODAY there was nothing behind the alleged threats.
“A lot of people say things on Facebook that they don’t mean, and I understand the Secret Service has to do what they have to do, it’s their job,” said Frank Castillo of Tyler, Texas. “I would imagine they would find some people out there that really are loose cannons. Christopher is not one of them.”
The case started Nov. 1, when a “concerned citizen” called the U.S. Secret Service in Atlanta. According to one agent’s affidavit, Christopher Castillo had threatened to “hunt down” and kill Obama if the president was re-elected and “watch the life disappear from his eyes” in a post on the social media website.
The tipster replied to the Facebook post, warning that the threat was a federal offense, and Castillo allegedly replied: “I wouldn’t call it a threat but more of a promise, let them come after me...”
When officials went to Christopher Castillo’s home Nov. 8, Castillo said “he made the comments out of severe anger towards [sic] the President for his views on health care and said ‘we’re all going to be screwed,’ ” the affidavit reads.
Christopher Castillo made further threats to the president in the interview with investigators, calling the president a terrorist and threatening to beat him up, according to court documents. When investigators told Castillo his statements violated federal law, he replied “it did not matter,” according to the affidavit.
Frank Castillo, a U.S. Army veteran, said his son served in the Air Force, is married and has three young children. He said his son loves this country and is not a violent person. He acknowledged his son may have made anti-Obama posts, but said his son had no means to carry anything out.
“He was also under the impression his profile was private, he was trash talking with his friends and no one else can see them,” Frank Castillo said. “He barely has enough money to get back and forth to work, how’s he going to do anything to the president?”
Christopher Castillo made an initial appearance in federal court in Orlando on Wednesday. Documents indicate a federal judge will allow him to be released from custody but only after a GPS monitoring device is available.
Frank Castillo said he hadn’t had contact with his son since the arrest, nor was he aware of his son’s location.
He worried what would happen to his son’s family while Christopher Castillo is in custody.
“I’m sure he’s scared,” Frank Castillo said of his son. “He’s never been in trouble before.”