New York Man Arrested for Hate Crime
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that CHRISTOPHER RASCOLL, 48, of Blauvelt, New York, has been charged by federal criminal complaint with making anti-Semitic death threats to a resident of Stratford, Connecticut.
Rascoll was arrested on June 26 in New York City. He appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport and was ordered detained.
As alleged in the criminal complaint, on December 23, 2019, the first day of Hanukkah, Rascoll began sending the victim, who is Jewish, threatening text messages. In several messages, which continued into May 2020, Rascoll threatened to murder or seriously injure the victim. He also threatened to blow up the victim’s house and car. Some of Rascoll’s threatening text messages contained anti-Semitic references to the Holocaust. On December 23, 2019, Rascoll sent a message that included the words “Suns about to go down. It would be a shame if your house were used to light the menorah. Or turned in a gas chamber.” On April 8, 2020, Rascoll wrote “I’m going to kill you. You better be gone because if you’re in [the victim’s housing community] Easter weekend I’m going to stick you in an oven. Or I’m going to shoot you.”
The complaint charges Rascoll with one count of interference with the right to fair housing, a hate crime, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years; and two counts of threatening communications, an offense that carries a maximum term of five years of imprisonment on each count.
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Stratford Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sarala V. Nagala and Amanda S. Oakes.