A Rhode Island man has been arrested by the FBI for making multiple threats to a college professor, including threats to kill and eat them, as well as messages that wished death on all Democrats.
Matthew Haviland, a 30-year-old from Rhode Island, allegedly sent multiple messages to a professor in Massachusetts. Federal officials did not name the professor, but did say that they were in favor of abortion rights. Haviland was arrested Wednesday by the FBI for cyberstalking and threats.
In emails to the professor, who has publicly advocated for abortion rights, Haviland allegedly threatened to “rip every limb from your body and eat it, piece by piece” and “savor” the teacher’s “innards.”
“You will have your face ripped off and eaten by me, personally,” Haviland wrote in another email to the professor, whose name and affiliation were not revealed by the feds.
Haviland threatened Democrats in other emails, saying that people wearing “pink fucking hats”—an apparent reference to the “Pussy Hats” worn by Women’s March participants—“should all be slaughtered,” according to his indictment. He also allegedly wrote that all Democrats “must be eradicated.”
In addition to these statements, Haviland apparently has called for the school the professor worked at to be bombed, and spoke of the need for “another Civil War.”
Haviland has also repeatedly harassed a Rhode Island abortion clinic, calling them 100 times.
A friend of the suspect told the FBI that he has seen Haviland’s views become “more extreme” as he grew angry about the treatment of Donald Trump by the media.
It seems that Haviland was also deep into the cesspit of far-right online content.
From the Daily Beast:
In his online videos, Haviland accused Democrats of being “soulless” and “slavemasters.” He also accused members of the media of being “monsters” and spreading “cultural Marxism,” a far-right talking point that holds that reporters and academics subscribe to a philosophy trying to undermine the United States.
On his YouTube channel, Haviland praised a number of right-wing media personalities. He encouraged his handful of viewers to check out specific videos from conservative pundit Ben Shapiro, former Pizzagate promoter Mike Cernovich, and cartoonist Scott Adams, the Dilbert comic-strip creator who has reinvented himself as a vociferous Trump booster.
But while many of his views are extreme, some of Haviland’s complaints sound like garden variety right-wing trolls...that is, until you remember that he threatened to eat someone’s face.
In emails to the university office, Haviland allegedly raged that the term “cisgender”—a term describing people whose gender identify corresponds with the sex they were assigned at birth—was an “insult,” complained that he received “constant abuse” for being white, and called “intersectional” feminism “an evil disease of a movement.”
Trump has spent more time spouting pro-life rhetoric recently, saying in the State of the Union and several recent rallies that Democrats support “infanticide.”
Haviland isn’t the first person to go off the rails after mainlining MAGA content. Last fall, Cesar Sayoc sent pipe bombs to over a dozen prominent Democrats and liberals while living in a van covered by pro-Trump propaganda. Sayoc pleaded guilty to charges of sending the bombs, none of which exploded.
According to his lawyer, Ronald Lowy, Sayoc believed similar things about a coming confrontation between Democrats and Trump fans.
“[Sayoc] heard a voice calling his name, saying that there’s a war happening, that the Democrats are the enemy, that the media is the enemy, and that you are my soldiers,” Lowy told the Daily Beast last October.
“As I have said before, this office will take a hard line on threats of violence motivated by politicized issues, regardless of whether those issues arise on the right or the left,” United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling said in a statement about the latest charges. “Americans are responsible for what they say, and if they put others in fear for their lives, we will prosecute.”