Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Threatening Mass Shooting at Synagogue

Hanson Richard Larkin has admitted to sending threatening text messages to an anonymous internet acquaintance who wished no further contact from him. He traveled by train to Orlando to see this person, all the while sending anti-Semitic text messages and threatening to do violence against Jewish persons, according to the Associated Press and WNDB.

Larkin, 33, pleaded guilty to knowingly and intentionally transmitting a threatening communication in interstate commerce, which is a felony in Miami-Dade County, on Thursday.

The person who turned Larkin in said they had been in contact since 2017, and had exchanged photos and phone calls, as well as social media messages. Though the person repeatedly urged him not to come to Miami-Dade, Larkin took a train from DeLand, where he was living, to Miami to meet the plaintiff on August 24 of this year. On the 25th, Larkin texted the individual to tell him Larkin was outside of his house.

When the plaintiff refused to meet with him, Larkin turned threatening, sending multiple threats and anti-Semitic texts designed to force the person into meeting with him.

Among the threats Larkin sent were:

"…I bought a gun with my first paycheck If I don't meet you I will be forced to use it."

"If meeting me for five seconds is not worth the lives of multiple Jews than I have no other option."

"There's a chabad near me. And Amtrak has no security for the weapon. Don't make me make a choice they'll regret." A chabad is one of the largest Orthodox Jewish Hasidic movements in the religion.

"Ok so then we meet and no dead Jews?"

"I want to smell your fear."

"I told you how much I hate Jews right? If meeting me for five seconds is not worth the lives of multiple Jews than I have no other option."

Due to comments Larkin had made in the past, the plaintiff took the threat seriously. After traveling back to DeLand, Larkin was eventually questioned by Federal agents, who confronted Larkin at his workplace on August 27. After he was questioned, and authorities held him for a psychological evaluation. He was arrested on September 6.

antisemitism
A Florida man has plead guilty to sending threatening text messages to an internet acquaintance whom he traveled on a train to meet, then bombarded with antisemitic text messages and threats against the local Hassidic Jewish community. TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty

Larkin is scheduled for sentencing on January 8, 2020, in U.S. District Court. The maximum sentence for sending threatening text messages to an anonymous internet acquaintance is five years in prison. He will appear in court to ask for bail on Tuesday, according to WKMG.

Jewish leaders in the DeLand area told WKMG they did not want to comment on the arrest, but described themselves as concerned.

Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Threatening Mass Shooting at Synagogue | U.S.