Conn. (WTNH) — State authorities said that an Eastern Connecticut state lawmaker was recently threatened by a constituent. Some are saying it’s another sign of the current state of a polarized society.
The lawmaker is safe following the threats, and the suspect has been arrested.
It started out with a lawn sign miscommunication, authorities said. So, a constituent reached out to Rep. Tammy Nuccio on Facebook.
He allegedly asked her to come to get the sign as he did not request it.
“I replied back around midnight that night, and then again six in the morning, apologizing for the sign being placed there and said that I would come and get it,” said Nuccio. “And then it just kind of turned into a rampage.”
At the time, Nuccio was unaware that 42-year-old Justin Gagnon had allegedly left a threatening voicemail on her Capitol office phone.
“It was terrifying. I’ve lived in this town for 37 years and nobody’s ever spoken to me like that,” said Nuccio.
Nuccio said Gagnon called her a fascist and a Nazi, then threatened her life.
“But when you step over that line to say that you’re going to shoot somebody in the face, is just it’s terrifying. It’s inhumane. And it’s just it can’t be allowed,” added Nuccio.
State Capitol Police launched an investigation. Later, police charged Gagnon with threatening, harassment, and breach of peace.
Nuccio is a two-term incumbent Republican who believes all the national rhetoric, social media, and dehumanizing of one another has led to a lack of civility in politics.
“It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you’re on. It’s public service. Like we’re doing it to help the people,” she said.
Gagnon posted his bond and is due in court next week, police stated.
Nuccio said that campaigning for re-election has now forever changed.
“Now I’m nervous to go knock on a door. I’m afraid to just like, go up to people that I don’t know and talk to them now, because this has just been it’s horrifying,” she explained.
She said she’s never met this person before.
Investigators told News 8 that the man recently moved to Connecticut from California.
News 8 was unable to connect with Gagnon for comment.