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California man charged with attempting to murder Supreme Court justice said he needed ‘psychiatric help’: 911 dispatch audio

By Holmes Lybrand, CNN

The California man arrested near US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh‘s home and charged with attempting or threatening to kidnap or murder a US judge said in calls he made to 911 before the arrest that he was thinking of killing himself and needed psychiatric help, according to audio recordings released by the Montgomery County Police Department.

Nicholas John Roske, 26, of Simi Valley, California, called 911 twice in the early hours of Wednesday, telling the operator that he had a gun and other weapons in a bag and was having suicidal thoughts. “I need psychiatric help,” he said.

Roske was arrested outside of Kavanaugh’s house in Maryland early Wednesday. CNN obtained the 911 dispatch audio on Thursday.

Roske’s attorney did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

During the nearly 14-minute phone call, Roske said he had just flown in from California and traveled in a taxi to Kavanaugh’s home address, taking the bag with the gun and other weapons with him.

“It’s in a suitcase,” he told the operator when asked about the gun. “It’s a black suitcase. Um, it’s — I’m standing near it but the suitcase is zip-tied shut. … I just came from the airport.”

Asked if he had other weapons, Roske said, “There’s pepper spray. There is a knife. There are, there is, um, tools. No other firearms. No explosives, nothing like that.”

“And you said you came from California. Do you know someone down here?” the operator asked.

“Brett Kavanaugh … the Supreme Court justice,” he said.

“OK, and what were you coming to do?” the operator asked. “Just to hurt yourself and him? Or what was going to happen?”

“Correct,” Roske replied.

He told the operator he had figured out the address from using, in part, an article with a picture of the house and the street number as well as images from protests and the media.

The taxi, he said, “dropped me off at his address. I’m just around the corner from it.”

Roske said he was going to kill himself because “I didn’t think I could get away with it,” adding that he has been “hospitalized a lot of times.”

According to an FBI affidavit filed Wednesday, Roske told law enforcement he had traveled from California to kill “a specific United States Supreme Court Justice.” The affidavit said Roske was upset about the leak of the Supreme Court opinion related to abortion rights, an upcoming gun control case and the school shooting last month in Uvalde, Texas.

“Roske indicated that he believed the Justice that he intended to kill would side with Second Amendment decisions that would loosen gun control laws,” the FBI agent wrote. “Roske stated that he began thinking about how to give his life a purpose and decided that he would kill the Supreme Court Justice” after breaking into his home. Roske planned to kill himself as well, the affidavit added.

Roske appeared in a Greenbelt, Maryland, federal court Wednesday and agreed to remain in jail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 22.

He was asked by District Judge Tim Sullivan if he understood the nature of the charges that were brought against him. Roske said he wasn’t “thinking clearly” but understood what was going on. Asked if he was under the influence, he told the judge that he was on medication he had taken that day. He did not specify what medication.

Editor’s Note: If you or a loved one have contemplated suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text TALK to 741741.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Katelyn Polantz and Joan Biskupic contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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