WILLIMANTIC — A man with a gun who posted a Christmas Day video threatening a judge and two child welfare workers, including one from Stonington, was arrested Thursday morning by the Connecticut State Police.
The man, Fernando Irizzary, 41, of Willimantic, was charged with inciting injury to person or property, three counts of second-degree harassment, and three counts of second-degree breach of peace. He was held in lieu of $100,000 bond and was to be arraigned in Danielson Superior Court.
State police said the charges stem from a complaint made on Wednesday by a supervisor with the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. The supervisor reported that the threat was made on Facebook Live. In an affidavit supporting the arrest warrant, officials said that the same post was also reported to Stonington police a short time later by one of the victims and a co-worker.
Stonington Police Detective Greg Howard retrieved the video and turned it over to the state police.
According to the affidavit, Irizzary posted a 36-minute video describing his struggles with the child custody system, including the recent removal of his children from his home, and threatening physical violence. The threats were made directly to the DCF field worker in the case, the caseworker representing Irizzary in court, and the judge overseeing the case.
"The video begins begins with Irizzary appearing to be lying down on a bed within his residence. He states, among other things, that in early May his offspring were kidnapped from him by DCF and police," the affidavit states. "He refers to his children as his offspring and his property."
Police said Irizzary then called himself a "hardcore Second Amendment guy" and proceeded to call out the victims by name before saying he would "come after their property." While holding the weapon, he also stated that he had tried to do things through the legal system but that the day would come when he would "need to take matters into his own hands."
The victims, who were not identified in the affidavit, told the police they feared for their lives.
The police said Irizzary's criminal history includes a 2003 arrest for second-degree assault in Connecticut; a 2008 conviction in Florida for carrying a concealed weapon; and cases from New Jersey in 1997 and 2004 that led to his arrest on charges of assault, drug possession, and domestic violence.
As of midday, Irizzary had not posted bond, according to court officials.