KANSAS CITY Mo. (Reuters) - A Kansas City man was charged on Wednesday with trying to fire-bomb the local office of Missouri U.S. Democratic Representative Emanuel Cleaver using two bottles filled with charcoal lighter fluid, prosecutors said.
Eric King, 28, is accused of breaking windows and tossing the bottles at Cleaver’s central Kansas City office shortly before 3 a.m. on Sept. 11 in an incident captured on security video, authorities said.
No one was in the building, neither bottle went through the window, no fire started and no injuries were reported, according to an affidavit attached to the criminal complaint.
King was charged with using a dangerous instrument to oppose, impede, intimidate and interfere with a federal official while engaged in the performance of his official duties, the complaint said.
The charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
The incident was investigated along with other vandalism nearby that included graffiti painted on law enforcement vehicles and at the Liberty Memorial National World War I Museum, the affidavit said.
Investigators said they found social media postings by King within the prior month alluding to an organization called KC Fight Back that he said was taking a series of actions against the government and financial properties.
King was arrested on Tuesday as he left an apartment carrying a backpack that held a can of spray paint, charcoal lighter fluid and a clear plastic soda bottle with an unknown liquid and a tube sock placed over it, the affidavit said.
A search of the apartment after King’s arrest turned up a letter that read in part: “The Missouri congress has been a willing partner in the U.S. government’s capitalist war hungry agenda,” the affidavit said.
The letter mentioned future targets that included police officers, pay-day loan companies, banks and the Federal Reserve, said the affidavit.
Reporting by Kevin Murphy; Editing by David Bailey and Peter Cooney