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Man with a gun outside Kavanaugh’s home told 911, 'I need psychiatric help'

Nicholas Roske, 26, was charged in federal court in Maryland with attempting to murder a Supreme Court justice, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
Image:Brett Kavanaugh at the White House on Oct. 8, 2018 in Washington.
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at the White House on Oct. 8, 2018.Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Maryland authorities on Thursday released a heavily redacted version of the 911 call made the day before by Nicholas Roske, the man accused of going to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's home planning to kill him.

"I need psychiatric help," Roske told the 911 operator soon after 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Roske, 26, reported having suicidal and homicidal thoughts, according to court documents, but those words were blanked out in the audio clip released Thursday. Roske, however, could be heard saying, "I’ve been having them for a long time." He also said he has been hospitalized many times.

He then told the operator that he had a gun but that it was unloaded and locked in his suitcase. He also said the suitcase contained pepper spray, a knife and "tools."

Asked whether he came to Maryland to hurt himself and Kavanaugh, Roske, who is from California, said, "Correct." But he called 911 because, he said, "I want to be fully compliant."

Roske described his physical appearance to the operator and said he took a taxi from the airport, which dropped him off at Kavanaugh's address. During the call, he said he was "just around the corner from it." He then suggested that he had found the Supreme Court justice's house by looking at images that were shown in the media.

Officials said Wednesday that Roske was armed with a handgun, a knife, pepper spray and burglary tools. He was stopped a block from the justice’s house. And when police detained him, he said he was there to kill Kavanaugh, the officials said.

Deputy U.S. marshals spotted Roske — dressed in black and carrying a backpack and a suitcase — getting out of the cab in front of Kavanaugh’s house shortly after 1 a.m. ET Wednesday, according to a criminal complaint. Roske looked at the officers and then started walking down the street, and that's when he called 911.

He is alleged to have told investigators that he’d decided to target Kavanaugh because he was angry about the possibility that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade and about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. He said he thought Kavanaugh would loosen gun laws.

A search of his backpack and suitcase showed he was carrying a “black tactical chest rig and tactical knife, a Glock 17 pistol with two magazine[s] and ammunition, pepper spray, zip ties, a hammer, screwdriver, nail punch, crow bar, pistol light, duct tape” and other items, according to officials.

Roske was charged in federal court in Maryland on Wednesday with attempting to murder a Supreme Court justice, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.