Sheriff Joe Arpaio

flag-waveThe Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a possible death threat against Sheriff Joe Arpaio that authorities said was written on a demonstrator’s sign.

At about 9:30 a.m. Saturday,Veterans Affairs police spotted an unidentified man wearing a black ski mask, a black law enforcement-style raid T-shirt and rubber surgical gloves preparing to march Saturday in a protest against Arpaio and his immigration enforcement, said Deputy Doug Matteson, a sheriff’s spokesman.

The man was carrying a loaded Glock semi-automatic pistol handcuffs, and a sign with the statement: “Death to Arpaio equals freedom for America,” Matteson said.

Veterans Affairs officers saw the man attempt to park in the hospital lot at 650 E. Indian School Road and blocked him.

Matteson said the protestor didn’t cooperate, so police confronted him and he fought with them.

The unidentified protestor was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct and possession of a concealed firearm. He was not taken to jail.

Officers confiscated the man’s pistol, a mace canister filled with dye and a money clip that appeared to be a Los Angeles Police Department badge at first glance, Matteson said.

Sheriff’s officials could not provide the man’s name or other identifying information Sunday but Matteson said deputies were continuing to investigate the threat.

This isn’t the first threat against the five-term sheriff.Arpaio has weathered dozens of them during his time as “America’s toughest sheriff.”

Matteson said that last year, the Sheriff’s Office even investigated death threats from other countries including Mexico and Central America.


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