The headquarters of the Democratic Party in Phoenix, Arizona, was allegedly destroyed by arson on Thursday and days later police arrested a former volunteer they believe is responsible.
Arizona Democratic Party Chair Felecia Rotellini implied in a
statement after the fire that political opponents might be to blame, but instead the police arrested a former volunteer that had been banned from the building where the headquarters is located.
“We’re grateful for the response of the Phoenix Fire and Police Departments who are both still on the scene as we sort out what happened. We are relieved that no one was injured,” said Rotellini.
“The fire is devastating but we refuse to let this be a distraction. We feel more empowered than ever to turn Arizona blue,” she added. “Our eyes remain on the prize of electing Democrats who will put Arizonans first. Thank you to all who have sent their love and support and have reached out to help.”
On Wednesday, police
arrested Matthew Egler, 29, after he made several claims on social media related to the fire at the headquarters.
“Why are they coming after me so hard? Um I took out a building,” said Egler in a
video posted to his Twitter account.
“Because I wasn’t getting any responses from the Senate,” he added, “uh, I got thrown out of the Supreme Court illegally, they shut down the Senate and House buildings when I tried to go inside.”
He also made other threats on the video and encouraged his viewers to commit violence on his behalf.
“I’m your elected official, if I get arrested, go bomb the police, or go find those people, go kill’em. Just go kill them,” he said. “I’m saying declaration of war. So I’m sorry. Whoever is responsible, kill’em.”
Egler explains a bizarre conspiracy theory claiming that he secretly married the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump.
Police say that he also claimed responsibility for the fire in a tweet from his account.
Police say that surveillance video also points to his involvement with the fire. In the video they released a man can be seen tossing something into the building before it is engulfed by flames.
Police added that he had been a volunteer for the Democratic party from 2016 until 2017, but that he had been banned from the building. They did not specify why he had been banned.
Here’s a local news report about the arrest:
Man arrested for allegedly setting fire to the Arizona Democratic Party headquarters in Phoenix