WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A man who was arrested for allegedly making death threats to Florida Rep. Jose Felix Diaz on social media over the weekend told police he was venting his frustration over the Republican Party.
Police said 34-year-old Steve St. Felix posted several comments to Diaz’s Facebook page, Sunday. In one of them, he said, “I’ll kill your [expletive] and you better not show up to the next REC meeting.”
That post was later deleted.
In a joint effort with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Miami-Dade Police arrested St. Felix, Sunday night.
In the post, St. Felix told police, he was referring to the next Republican Executive Committee meeting. St. Felix also told investigators he is fed up with the GOP.
Hundreds of people are expected to attend the event, which is being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Miami Airport in West Miami-Dade.
Tuesday morning, St. Felix faced Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Catherine Pooler in bond court. “You’re charged with written threats to kill or do bodily injury,” said Pooler.
The Miami Gardens resident stood stern-faced as Pooler read his charge, but the suspect was all smiles in his mugshot.
Diaz spoke to 7News about the online threat as he prepared for the 2017 Lincoln Day Dinner in West Miami-Dade. “This was somebody who was deeply troubled, who was threatening, not only to harm me, but to harm himself, so it was the perfect recipe for disaster,” he said.
In bond court, 7News learned Felix was out on bond after threatening another public servant and has a history of making threats.
“One of the previous cases involved a called threat to Miami Gardens Police Department,” said a prosecutor, “so it was an extremely serious threat that was done at that time.”
Cameras rolled last October as St. Felix was taken into custody for allegedly vandalizing the lobby outside an attorney’s office in Southwest Miami-Dade.
“We do follow up on these threats, and we will prosecute,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Robin Pinkard.
Tuesday night, Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert told 7News he was also targeted by St. Felix. “The same gentleman called in a threat to 911 and made a threat against me,” he said. “Our police department handled it.”
St. Felix’s bond hearing also revealed a mental health condition. He told police he failed to take his medicine when asked about his Facebook post.
“It’s impossible to see that sort of threat and not think immediately of Virginia, what happened to Congressman Scalise,” said Diaz, referring to the June 14 shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. during a practice for a charity baseball game in Virginia.
“He was in public. He thought he was safe, and he wasn’t,” said Diaz, “and unfortunately, as you enter into public life, you’re not always as safe as you feel.”
Local Republican leaders came together Tuesday night to attend the 2017 Lincoln Day Dinner.
St. Felix said he did not mean Diaz any harm, but Pooler expressed concern about his criminal history. “Twice with public servants. That is egregious,” she said.
St. Felix remains behind bars on a $500,000 bond.
Kellyanne Conway, the Counselor to President Donald Trump, was the keynote speaker at the Lincoln Day Dinner.
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