Michael Cummins Threatened Ron Barber With "Bashing" in Message From Arkansas, Feds Say

Categories: Creepsters

phone-art.jpg
Image: Jeff Keyzer via flickr.com
An ominous phone threat to the office of Democratic Congressman Ron Barber has resulted in the indictment of a man from Arkansas.

(Click here for update -- Cummins apparently lives in Sierra Vista)

Michael Wayne Cummins called Barber's office in Sierra Vista on August 20th, court records state, spelling his name for a staff member and providing his phone number.

Cummins informed the staff member that he'd like to assault Barber, a survivor of the 2011 Tucson shooting massacre that wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

See also:
- Joe Arpaio's Latest "Death Threat": Man Says He'll Take Imaginary Cartel Bounty

"I am not interested in killing Ron, but I am interested in bashing his teeth in and seeing him rot in hell," Cummins told the staff member.

He went on with a more general threat, records state: "I am just going to start killing people indiscriminately."

Definitely an attention-getting phone call.

ronbarber.jpg
Ron Barber
The FBI soon figured out the call had come from Fort Smith, Arkansas, and that's where they located Cummins. He gave his phone number during an interview with agents. No surprise there -- it was the same number used by the threatening caller. Cummins then confessed to making the call, the complaint says.

The threat would be troubling enough for any elected official. But Barber, Giffords' former district director, knows firsthand what a maniac who wants to kill "indiscriminately" can do. He took bullets to the face and thigh during the January 8, 2011 shooting that killed six people and wounded 19 others.

Barber took over Giffords' seat following two elections. His horrific encounter with schizophrenic shooter Jared Lee Loughner has spurred him to seek funding to train first-responders and teachers how to spot potentially violent people with mental illnesses.

We can't tell you what Cummins' problem was, or even his hometown. We tried to reach his federal public defender in Arkansas, James Pierce, on Thursday afternoon, but Pierce never called back.

Records show Cummins, born in 1948, was picked up by the FBI on August 26th and taken to Arizona, where he's being held under a detention order signed by Arizona U.S. District Magistrate Judge Jaqueline Rateau. He was assigned a Tucson public defender, Matei Tarail.

On Wednesday, Cummins was indicted by a federal grand jury for threatening to assault Barber with "intent to impede, intimidate or interfere," with the congressman, or with "intent to retaliate against Ron Barber on account of the performance of his official duties."

Cummins is scheduled to appear for his arraignment before Magistrate Judge Hector Estrada at 11 a.m. on October 4th in Tucson federal court.

That brief phone call on August 20th could mean some prison time for Cummins. In a somewhat similar case from 2010, for example, Charles Alan Wilson of Washington was sentenced to a year and a day in jail for leaving numerous, threatening phone calls at the office of Washington Senator Patty Murray.


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9 comments
dkessler4
dkessler4

This just goes to show how well our broken mental health system functions.

enigma9000aa
enigma9000aa

People who make on line communicating threats at minimum commit a misdemeanor and maximum can be charged with a felony, doing so to a elected official can get one up to 5 years, this fellow if sent to prison will likely be more worried at big bubba making him his girlfriend and him walking funny for the rest of his life!:-) I think the right wing is populated by chicken hawks who seem to be good at issuing threats but rarely do more than bark, whine, whimper like a puppy just back from the vet who has been neutered!

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Ummmm... Arkansas is not a "Midwestern" state. In fact, it seceded from the Union and was a member of the Old Confederacy. It was in the state capital, Little Rock, the school desegregation began when President Eisenhower federalized the Arkansas National Guard to enforce the court order allowing black kids to attend previously all-white schools.

UHUH
UHUH

Michael Wayne Cummins may be a coward but more likely has mental health issues.  Ron Barber is a pussy who probably shit and wet his pants like a bitch.

ray.stern
ray.stern moderator

@eric.nelson745 You're right, of course, and I removed the reference. I'd been looking at the map -- Fort Smith is next door to Missouri and Oklahoma. Not sure if that excuses or compounds my error, but there you go... Sorry about that, Southerners.

enigma9000aa
enigma9000aa

@UHUH 

Another chicken hawk your best ability is spewing profanity and hot air, cowards hide behind computer screens issuing threats, innuendo and probably got way to much sugar in their blood!;-)

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@UHUH lol i think you mistake him for all the shit talking, tough acting tealiban members, who cower unless they have their gun handy. 

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

@UHUH Spoken like a true, mouth-breathing, cur dog idiot. How many times have YOU been shot, Goober? How many times have YOU been at a political event where a crazy son of a bitch uses a hand gun with high capacity magazines to kill innocent people - including an eight-year-old girl? It is precisely because of knuckle-dragging, mindless cretins such as yourself that the FBI treats these threats seriously. And if you'd care to raise the stakes on this forum, you may earn a visit from law enforcement agencies yourself. 

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