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Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale hospitalized after he was armed and threatening to harm himself, police say

Sun Sentinel logoSun Sentinel 9/28/2020 By Austen Erblat, David Lyons, Brittany Wallman and David Fleshler, Sun Sentinel
a man standing on a stage: Brad Parscale speaks on stage during the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 28, 2020, in National Harbor, Maryland. Parscale's wife called police to say he had guns and was threatening to harm himself, Fort Lauderdale police said Sunday night. © Samuel Corum/Getty Images North America/TNS Brad Parscale speaks on stage during the Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 28, 2020, in National Harbor, Maryland. Parscale's wife called police to say he had guns and was threatening to harm himself, Fort Lauderdale police said Sunday night.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale was taken from his Fort Lauderdale home by police Sunday afternoon after his wife reported that he was armed and threatening suicide.

The police, called by his wife, went to the house in the Seven Isles community, an affluent area in which houses have access to the water. They made contact, “developed a rapport” and negotiated his exit from the house, the police said in a statement. He was taken to Broward Health Medical Center under the Baker Act, which provides for temporary involuntary commitment.

Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Karen Dietrich said the encounter at the house was brief.

“We went out and it was very short. We went and got him help.”

Dietrich said Parscale didn’t threaten police and he went willingly under Florida’s Baker Act, which allows police to detain a person who is potentially a threat to himself or others.

Standing a towering 6 feet, 8 inches, with a striking full beard, Parscale had taken an unusually public role for a campaign manager, speaking at events and developing a prominent media persona.

But he was demoted by Trump in July as the president’s reelection campaign suffered a series of blows. Among these was a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that was poorly attended, embarrassing the president, who had expected an overflow crowd. He has also been sharply criticized by both supporters and opponents of the president over extravagance with campaign money, including millions in payments to his own companies.

Tim Murtaugh, Trump campaign communications director, issued a statement Sunday night supporting Parscale and blasting his critics.

“Brad Parscale is a member of our family and we all love him. We are ready to support him and his family in any way possible. The disgusting, personal attacks from Democrats and disgruntled RINOs have gone too far, and they should be ashamed of themselves for what they’ve done to this man and his family.”

Parscale, 44, moved two years ago to Fort Lauderdale, the biggest city in heavily Democratic Broward County, where Trump won 31.4% of the vote in 2016. In an interview with the Sun-Sentinel, he explained his move into hostile political territory by invoking his love of boating and the appeal of a state without an income tax.

Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said he received a text message saying that there was a SWAT team standoff at Parscale’s home.

“It was indicated to me that he had weapons,” Trantalis said.

“Politics aside, this fellow obviously suffers from emotional distress,” said Trantalis, a Democrat. “… I’m glad he didn’t do any harm to himself or others. I commend our SWAT team for being able to negotiate a peaceful ending to this.”

A reporter rang the doorbell of the Parscale home Sunday evening. No one answered, and as the reporter was walking away, a woman opened the door, looked at him and closed the door.

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Staff writers Brett Clarkson and Skyler Swisher contributed to this report.

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©2020 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Visit the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at www.sun-sentinel.com

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