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UPDATED: Gas line severed at home of Perriello's brother

March 24, 2010
  • Mike Troxel allegedly posted the address, thinking it was Congressman Tom Perriello's.
Mike Troxel allegedly posted the address, thinking it was Congressman Tom Perriello's.

UPDATED: Thursday, March 25

Here's a news release from the Albemarle County's Community Relations Director:

VANDALISM INCIDENT DETAILS CONFIRMED

The Albemarle County Fire Marshal's Office and the FBI are confirming details regarding an act of vandalism which was reported on March 23 at Heron Drive in Peacock Hills in the Ivy area of Albemarle County.   The act of vandalism was discovered by residents who returned home and smelled gas and then discovered that the supply hose connecting a liquid petroleum tank to burners on a portable gas grill was severed.  The grill was located on a deck adjacent to a screened porch on the back of the house.   Investigators believe that this was a deliberate act of vandalism and that the supply hose was intentionally cut.  While there was no immediate threat to the residence and its occupants, investigators believe the leaking gas could have posed a danger had there been an ignition source nearby. Investigators collected physical evidence from the scene and have interviewed the victim and nearby residents. Local officials are working co-operatively with Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who has been involved from the early stages of the investigation.  Anyone with information on this incident or other unusual behavior in the neighborhood is encouraged to call Crime Solvers at (434) 977-4000.

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UPDATED: 11:00 p.m.

There are more questions than answers after a gas line was cut outside the home of Congressman Tom Perriello's brother.

According to the FBI, it is being investigated as a possible threat to the Congressman after he voted in favor of healthcare reform.

Two members of a local tea party group posted the home's address online, mistakenly believing it belonged to Congressman Perriello.

Authorities say the gas line to the home's propane tank was slashed Tuesday night, although investigators don't think there was an immediate threat to his brother's family.

A spokesperson for the Congressman confirmed that a threatening letter was sent to this address.

Congressman Perriello is now calling on all Members of Congress to condemn these type of threats.

Mike Troxel is a blogger and member of the Lynchburg Tea Party. According to POLITICO, he posted an address, thinking it was Congressman Tom Periello's, encouraging people to stop by the house and tell the Democrat how they felt about him voting yes to the healthcare bill.

The problem? It was Periello's brother's address just outside Charlottesville.

According to the Congressman's office, a line to the small propane tank used for a gas grill was cut inside a screened in porch.

His office confirms a letter arrived in the mail that same day addressed to the Congressman.

A spokesperson would only say it was threatening in nature but would not elaborate.

Nigel Coleman, the chairman of the Danville Tea Party, confirmed to News7, he reposted the address on his facebook page.

Coleman told News7's Justin McLeod by phone if it turns out this was deliberate "I would condemn anyone who does violence or vandalism."

Congressman Periello who hosted tons of town hall meetings on health care reform released a statement.

It says "It's never too early for political leaders to condemn threats of violence, particularly as threats to other Members of Congress and their children escalate. And so I ask every member of House and Senate leadership to state unequivocally, that it is never OK to harm or threaten elected officials and their families with anything more than political retribution.Here in America, we settle our political differences at the ballot box."

"I would condemn it and say that's not the way we do business in America. We vote at the ballot box and elect people to vote for us and we respect one anothers differences," says Governor Bob McDonnell.

A spokesperson for the FBI says there is a federal law that deals specifically with threats made against elected officials.

The FBI says there have been a number of threats made towards members of Congress in the last few weeks, including Tom Perriello.

UPDATED: 3:50 p.m.

Representative Tom Perriello's office released the following statement:

Washington, DC—Today, Rep. Tom Perriello released the following statement in response to an ongoing FBI investigation into a severed gas line at the home of the congressman's brother.

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