Arraignment today in JCC threat case
Man, 20, to be in Struthers court
NEW MIDDLETOWN — A southeastern Mahoning County man arrested Friday on charges stemming from alleged threats against the Jewish Community Center in Youngstown is scheduled for a court appearance this morning.
James Reardon, 20, of New Middletown, is to be arraigned at 9:30 a.m. today in Struthers Municipal Court, on charges of telecommunications harassment and aggravated menacing, according to information released Sunday by the FBI and New Middletown police.
Reardon is accused of posting an online video depicting himself as the shooter at an area Jewish Community Center, according to information provided by investigators. The shooting, however, had not actually taken place.
New Middletown police had been informed of the video Friday, and the same day, a local search warrant was obtained and executed at Reardon’s parents home. Police said rounds of ammunition, semi-automatic weapons and anti-Semitic information were found at Reardon’s house.
A local arrest warrant was executed taking Reardon into custody without incident.
Reardon is being held on local charges; however, the investigation is still ongoing and federal agents are involved, according to a statement released Sunday by FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith of Cleveland, Youngstown Resident Agency and New Middletown police Chief Vincent D’Egidio.
Federal and local investigators said no further information is being immediately released.
D’Egidio earlier said the video posted last month showed a man shooting a semi-automatic rifle with the caption: “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’-Rearedon.”
Authorities said the video was posted to Reardon’s Instagram social media account.
Andy Lipkin, Youngstown Area Jewish Federation’s executive vice president, said Saturday the organization is working with police.
Lipkin said as soon as they were made aware of the threat, officials immediately contacted police and increased security at the Jewish Community Center, local synagogues and other Jewish facilities.
“I’m confident that we are doing what we need to do at this point, but the world has changed and we always have to assess what we are doing moving forward,” Lipkin said.
Police indicated they intend to keep extra security at the Jewish Community Center for some time. The FBI has not said whether it will pursue federal charges.
“We take very seriously the need to be vigilant to ensure the safety of all members of the local Jewish community, as well as all members and guests of our Jewish Community Center and our other agencies,” Lipkin said in an emailed statement.