John Katko 3.JPG

John Katko

Kevin Rivoli, The Citizen

A mental health examination has been ordered for a Syracuse man accused of threatening to kill U.S. Rep. John Katko and his family. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Therese Wiley Dancks referred Patrick J. Angelo, 28, for a mental health review Friday. The decision came during a scheduled detention hearing for Angelo, who is being held after being charged with interstate communication of a threat and threatening a federal official.

After referring Angelo for a mental health exam, the judge adjourned the detention hearing. It has been rescheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. 

Angelo allegedly called Katko's Washington office and left a threatening message in October. In the message, the caller threatens to kill Katko, R-Camillus, and his family if he does not support net neutrality, a policy implemented by the Federal Communications Commission that supporters believe allows for a free and open internet. 

During a meeting with FBI agents in November, Angelo denied calling Katko's office. But later in the interview, he admitted to leaving a voice mail that contained "strong language, probably something that could be construed as a threat." 

Angelo was arrested and first appeared in federal court Wednesday. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office for the Western District of New York, which typically covers the Buffalo area. The Northern District of New York, which has jurisdiction in the Syracuse, would normally handle such a case. But Katko has past ties to the Northern District. He was an assistant U.S. attorney before being elected to Congress. 

Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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