Frederick Man Arrested for Threatening to Kill Biden, Harris

A doorbell camera caught an image of James Dale Reed, a Frederick man arrested for leaving threatening notes about former vice president Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala D. Harris on neighbors' doorsteps. Photo via Frederick Police.

A Frederick man is facing federal charges after leaving a note threatening to harm and kill former vice president Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) on the doorstep of a supporter.

James Dale Reed, 42, was captured on a front-door camera earlier this month, leaving the graphic note at a home that had several Biden-Harris signs in the front yard.

A criminal complaint charging him with threatening a major candidate for president was filed Wednesday.

The handwritten letter, with “WARNING” written in red ink at the top, threatens people who display Biden-Harris yard signs, as well as the candidates themselves.

“This is a warning to anyone reading this letter if you are a Biden/Harris supporter you will be targeted. We have a list of homes and addresses by your election signs. We are the ones with those scary guns, We are the ones your children have nightmares about,” the letter stated.

It goes on to threaten “Grandpa Biden” with a beating and threatens sexual violence against Harris, the Democratic nominee for vice president ― and threatens to execute both of them.

The letter also threatens to kill Gabby Giffords, the former congresswoman from Arizona who suffered severe brain injury when she was shot in the head during a January 2011 assassination attempt.

United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur said people who make such threats will be held accountable.

“The right to vote and peacefully support the candidate of your choice are bedrocks of our democracy,” Hur said in a statement. “Conduct like this that threatens major candidates and fellow citizens only undermines our democracy and the principles upon which America was founded. We will not tolerate threatening conduct that seeks to intimidate, harass or dissuade Americans from exercising their right to vote.”

The letter was left on the doorstep of a Frederick home on Oct. 4. Reed was identified by a tip from the public after police released his image. Last week, police interviewed Reed, who denied writing the letter, but confessed two days later, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

If convicted, Reed faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.

A hearing in the case has not been set. Reed is in custody in Frederick County.

[email protected]

Did someone forward this to you?
Get your own daily morning news roundup in your inbox. 
Free. Sign up here.

Danielle E. Gaines
Danielle Gaines most recently worked for Bethesda Beat covering Montgomery County. Previously, she spent six years at The Frederick News-Post as the paper’s principal government and politics reporter for half that time, covering courts and legal affairs before that. She also reported for the now-defunct The Gazette of Politics and Business in Maryland and previously worked as a county government and education reporter at the Merced Sun-Star in California’s Central Valley.