The St. Petersburg Police Department has closed its investigation into what Congress candidate Anna Paulina Luna called threats against her by her political rival William Braddock and will take no action in the matter.
The 14-page police file reports that Braddock has repeatedly spoken of Luna, a closely watched 13th Congressional District Republican colleague, being “pulled” and includes a link to a 30-minute video in which Braddock appears to be secretly recorded saying he has access to a “hit squad” of Ukrainians and Russians.
“If the poll says Luna is going to win, she’s going to leave, she’s going to disappear,” says a video that appears to capture Braddock’s voice. âFor the sake of our country, we have to sacrifice a few. “
The police report details the threatening parts of the audio recording and says it was Braddock’s voice. But investigators determined the comments were “conditional in nature, as Braddock mentions that the ‘squads’ scenario will only happen if Luna rings before him,” the report said. “Due to the conditional nature of the threats made by Braddock, it has been determined that no probable cause exists at this time.”
Braddock is still the subject of two temporary harassment injunctions in connection with this case. Luna filed an injunction after saying she learned Braddock had a plan to kill her.
Erin Olszewski, a nurse and conservative speaker who recorded June 9 Braddock, also obtained a temporary injunction against Braddock.
A judge will determine whether to maintain the temporary injunctions or to dismiss them at a hearing on July 9.
Pinellas-Pasco Assistant Executive Attorney Kendall Davidson said there was no probable cause to lay charges in this case as Braddock had not directly threatened Luna or her family and lacked the ability reasonable to carry out the threat.
In Florida, it is a third degree felony to register someone without their consent. Due to case law, Davidson said, the recording will not be admissible in evidence and the injunction hearing will not be able to rely on the audio.
Braddock, 37, of St. Petersburg, said Thursday he was happy the police investigation was closed and said he hoped a parallel FBI investigation would have the same result. He said he couldn’t comment on the video’s statements because he hadn’t heard the entire clip.
âIt sounds like my voice, but I won’t admit it’s me,â he said. âI don’t know if it has been changed or changed so I can’t comment on that at this point. “
A spokesperson for Luna said the end of the police investigation should not affect her injunction case.
“The decision by local law enforcement authorities whether or not to prosecute Mr. Braddock under state law for his threats (against) Ms. Luna is very different from whether he should be prevented from being get close enough to her to carry out these threats, “spokesman James Blair said in a text. “We are happy that he remains enjoined to approach her.”
When contacted for comment, Olszewski referred to her lawyer, who did not respond to two emails and a message left at his law firm.
In the video recording, Braddock says he has ties to Freemasons and has access to billions of strangers.
“I really don’t want to have to end anyone’s life for the sake of the people of the United States of America because it would break my heart, but if it has to be done, it has to be done.” , he said in the video.
Politico first reported the existence of the recording last month.
In Luna’s petition for a temporary injunction, she said she learned that Braddock said he was working alongside other political rivals Matt Tito and Amanda Makki. Tito has said he plans to run for the 13th Congressional District. Makki lost to Luna in the 2020 primary for this seat.
The police report says investigators determined that Tito was not conspiring to kill or harm Luna. Makki is mentioned as saying that she barely knows Braddock and has never heard him make a threat. She said she wouldn’t hurt anyone physically.
Tito said he knew Braddock because of the Braddock campaign. He said he had never heard Braddock make threats and was upset his name was included in Luna’s injunction petition.
âI think what she did was irresponsible and reckless to include my name on a police report linked to a plot to kill her,â he said.
âMs. Makki has exhibited only the highest ethical standards throughout this ‘comedy’ and throughout her career,â said her attorney, Robert Eckard. âWe keep all legal options open to defend and restore her reputation which Ms. Luna maliciously attacked for no other legitimate purpose than to try to gain a political advantage over Ms. Makki in the court of public opinion. “
Braddock has a history of name calling and inappropriate comments, according to people who know him from a mass group chat for Americans abroad in China. Braddock said he spent time living and working in China, but returned to Florida in 2019.
In a WeChat group of nearly 500 people called âAmerican Bros in China,â expats can connect.
James Sung, a Chinese-American, said Braddock started attacking him in the forum after Sung joked on former President Donald Trump.
Sung said Braddock accused him of being a Communist and asked to see his passport to prove he was American.
“Fro you’re so lucky you don’t live near me or I would f-king make your retarded ass go away,” Braddock reportedly said in a 2019 post that Sung shared with the Tampa Bay Times.
He asked if Sung’s parents had him as an âanchor baby,â and said people should stop ABC – American Born Chinese.
“They are like leeches and cockroaches invading our beautiful country,” he said.
Braddock said he couldn’t comment on the texts because he hadn’t seen the screenshots.
âI’m not a racist, I have nothing against anyone,â Braddock said.
Another member of the WeChat group, Anthony Underwood, 49, had Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant with Braddock in 2017. The two bonded over their service in the Marines.
Underwood said Braddock made derogatory comments about non-Americans and Jews, even though he knew the mother of the Underwood children was Jewish.
âIf you’re not white and masculine, he constantly puts you down like crazy,â Underwood said.
Davy Williams, a friend of Braddock’s when the two were in China, said he didn’t think Braddock was racist. The two have bonded through their mutual patriotism living far from home, Williams said.
âI think he’s a good person at heart and I hope he is successful in whatever he chooses to do,â said Williams. “And I hope he pays attention to the things he says in the future.”