A New York man was arrested on charges of allegedly threatening to kill the mayor of Yonkers and city police officers at a St. Patrick's Day parade, prosecutors said.
Ridon Kola, 32, is accused of posting threatening messages on social media saying he would "slaughter" and "crucify" members of the Yonkers Police Department "all along" McLean Avenue, which is along the city's parade route.
He was taken into custody Friday, one day before the parade, on charges of threatening interstate communications, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Kola allegedly started posting the messages in 2021, according to a criminal complaint. In a Nov. 19, 2021 post, he allegedly wrote a threat in Albanian that was translated to: "I am going to slaughter you little girls," the complaint says.
The following month, he allegedly wrote that he was going to kill officers and mayor Mike Spano.
Investigators spoke with Kola in December 2021 at his home. The complaint says that he admitted to writing the messages but said they were not serious and he had no plans to harm officers or the mayor. Police searched his home but found no weapons.
Because of the threats, the police department issued a warning to officers "to exercise diligence and caution" when interacting with Kola.
Earlier this month, Kola allegedly started sending threatening messages again, writing on March 6 that he was looking for an officer and would "burn the world" until he found him, according to the complaint.
In a March 9 message, Kola allegedly threatened to "crucify" police and their bosses "all along McLean ave," the complaint states. "It will be a horror scene," he allegedly said.
Prosecutors said that Kola lives in an area close to where the parade ends and that he had also posted a picture of himself holding an ax.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said Kola's actions would not be tolerated.
"Threatening violence against police or to undermine public safety will not be tolerated, as Kola now stands charged and faces prison time for his threats against our dedicated law enforcement partners tasked with keeping us safe," he said in a statement.
If convicted, Kola faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.