Arrest Made After Polling Place Bomb Threat

People living with HIV can be prosecuted in Virginia

By Brandon Carwile

November 5, 2020

Norfolk police charge a 63-year-old man in connection with the incident

NORFOLK-One man faces charges in connection with a bomb threat at a Norfolk polling place. On Election Day, Norfolk Dispatch received a report of a “threat to bomb the polling station,” Norfolk Fire-Rescue’s Public Information Officer Stephanie Ramsey told Dogwood. 

The Office of the Fire Marshal responded to the call at Walter Herron Taylor Elementary School at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, to investigate the situation. Later in the day, local police arrested and charged 63-year-old Joseph Carosi. 

Carosi was detained Tuesday night at Norfolk City Jail. He was held until going before a judge for his first hearing on Wednesday.

This marks the only reported case of voter intimidation in Virginia during Tuesday’s election.

What’s the penalty in a situation like this?  

Now in Virginia, it’s a Class 1 misdemeanor to “hinder, intimidate or interfere with any qualified voter” or to use “threats, bribery or other means” to intimidate people at the polls. If you go beyond that, if you try to “conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, intimidate, prevent or hinder any citizen” from voting, you’ll face a Class 5 felony. 

Since the call here involved a polling place, the U.S. Code gets involved as well. It’s pretty clear on penalties as well. 

“Whoever intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, at any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing such candidate, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both,” the U.S. Code says. 

Brandon Carwile is a freelance reporter for Dogwood. You can reach him at [email protected].

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