Florida man arrested after threatening to kidnap, violently confront possible protesters at state Capitol

Suspect accused of wanting to confine protesters using firearms
Florida Capitol building
Posted at 4:20 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 21:16:55-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The FBI announced Friday a Florida man faces charges of violently threatening protesters at a pro-Trump rally scheduled for Sunday at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee.

Authorities arrested Daniel Alan Baker after they said he issued a "call to arms for like-minded individuals to violently confront" protesters at the Capitol.

According to federal law enforcement, he called for others to join him in encircling the protesters and confining them at the capitol using firearms.

Officials said Baker is a former U.S. Army Airborne infantryman who was kicked out of the service and had a history of expressing a belief in violent tactics.

Following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, agents said he expressed an intent to violently disrupt protests between now and Inauguration Day and actively recruited others to join him.

They said Baker participated in multiple protests throughout the U.S. last summer and is accused of promoting and encouraging his followers on "how to incapacitate and debilitate law enforcement officers."

Authorities called Baker a "dangerous extremist" whose social media posts showed he was attempting to purchase additional firearms this week.

"The law-abiding public is safer now that he has been arrested. We are, and will remain, on high alert and will take all appropriate actions against credible threats," said Lawrence Keefe, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

Baker was arrested Friday in Tallahassee without incident and faces a charge of transmission, in interstate commerce, of communication containing a threat to kidnap or to injure.

Keefe said they "averted a crisis" with the arrest.

"Extremists intent on violence from either end of the political and social spectrums must be stopped, and they will be stopped," Keefe said.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that the former chair for the 2016 Trump campaign in Orange County urged Trump supporters to stay away from any protests this weekend at the state capitol.

State capitals across the country have been on high alert since the riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The FBI sent a memo to authorities across the country, warning of the possibility of armed protests at all 50 state capitols now through Inauguration Day.