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Ex–Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale Was Intoxicated, Aggressive, And Refused To Cooperate While Threatening To Harm Himself, Police Said

A police report alleged domestic violence and said Parscale recently faced issues with depression, suicidal thoughts, and alcohol consumption.

Last updated on September 28, 2020, at 2:46 p.m. ET

Posted on September 28, 2020, at 1:27 p.m. ET

Samuel Corum / Getty Images

Brad Parscale, Feb. 28, 2020.

Brad Parscale, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, was taken into police custody and hospitalized on Sunday after allegedly threatening to harm himself while he was intoxicated, armed, and barricaded in his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Police responded to Parscale's home shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday after receiving a report of an armed man attempting to kill himself. His wife, Candice Parscale, told officials her husband was armed, had access to multiple firearms inside the house, and was threatening to harm himself, Fort Lauderdale police said in a statement.

After officers "developed a rapport" with Parscale, they "safely negotiated for him to exit" his house, police said. He was detained without injury and transported to the Broward Health Medical Center under the state’s Baker Act, which allows people to be involuntarily committed to a mental health facility for up to 72 hours. Officials recovered 10 firearms from his home.

Responding to the incident, the Trump campaign blamed Democrats and "disgruntled RINOS" — a term for "Republican in Name Only" — for attacking Parscale.

"Brad Parscale is a member of our family and we all love him," Tim Murtaugh, Trump's campaign communications director, said in a statement. "We are ready to support him and his family in any way possible. The disgusting, personal attacks from Democrats and disgruntled RINOs have gone too far, and they should be ashamed of themselves for what they’ve done to this man and his family."

A police report provided to BuzzFeed News did not include any evidence pointing to Democrats or other groups contributing to the incident.

The report alleged that Parscale had recently faced issues with depression, suicidal thoughts, and alcohol consumption. The report also included allegations of domestic violence.

Bryan Woolston / Getty Images

Brad Parscale at a Trump campaign rally in Kentucky in 2019.

Parscale, 44, was demoted this summer from his role as Trump campaign manager after overseeing an underwhelming comeback rally in Tulsa in June. He had also faced criticism for spending extravagant sums of campaign money. Parscale is currently serving as a senior digital adviser in the Trump campaign.

Candice, 41, told authorities that her husband had been "stressed out for the past two weeks" and had made suicidal comments throughout the week, according to the police report.

According to authorities, she said Parscale had been "depressed" recently and drinking more alcohol and that he had post-traumatic stress disorder, authorities said.

Officers who arrived at the scene noted several bruises on Candice's arms and scratches and bruises on her face.

She told authorities that Parscale "hits her" and that she had sustained the bruises during a physical altercation with him a few days ago, which she did not report. She said Parscale did not assault her on Sunday, but he "did forcibly smack her phone out of her hand" when she was attempting to call his father, according to police.

On Sunday, Parscale was drunk during a verbal argument with Candice, when he took his handgun, racked the slide "in the face of his wife," and loaded it in front of her, the police report states. Candice also told police that Parscale made several comments about self-harm during their argument.

Candice told officers that she became fearful for her safety and immediately left the house on foot without her cellphone or belongings. She then approached a woman a few houses down for help. The woman called 911 to tell them that Candice reported hearing a loud bang from inside her house and that she assumed it was the sound of a gunshot. She later said the sound could have been a car backfiring and that she could hear Parscale "ranting and pacing around the residence."

Fort Lauderdale Police Department

Audio of the 911 call from Candice Parscale and the woman who helped her.

An officer who spoke to Parscale over a landline several times said his speech was "slurred" and "he seemed to be crying." Parscale repeatedly said he would not leave the house without speaking to his wife, the officer said. Another officer reported hearing Parscale refusing to leave his house "in a loud, aggressive and agitated tone."

Officers then requested for crisis negotiators and SWAT personnel. The police report says that Parscale refused to come past his front door and leave his house during the negotiations. The report also states that he "appeared aggressive" and spoke "in a yelling and highly agitated tone" while refusing to meet officers away from his house.

Officer Christopher Wilson, identified as Parscale's "personal friend," then arrived at the scene and called him on the phone. Wilson said Parscale complied with his request to walk to the end of his driveway and talk to him.

The Fort Lauderdale police released body camera footage showing a shirtless Parscale emerging from his house with a beer in his hand to talk to Wilson and getting tackled to the ground by SWAT officers.

View this video on YouTube

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"Brad was drinking a beer and was clearly intoxicated at this time," Wilson wrote in the report.

As Parscale begins to talk to Wilson, SWAT officers order him to "get on the ground," the video shows. The police report states that Parscale refused to comply with the commands before a SWAT officer tackled him to the ground. He was then handcuffed and placed in a patrol vehicle.

Wilson wrote in the report that he asked Parscale if he wanted a pair of shoes and a shirt. Parscale asked for his phone and told Wilson where he kept his guns in the house, the report says. Authorities said they collected 10 firearms, including three long guns, from the house that were entered into evidence for "safekeeping."

An officer noted injuries on Parscale's body that he said had occurred several days ago. Parscale told officers that he was not on any medication and did not have any medical illnesses.

The officer said he transported Parscale to the hospital to undergo treatment based on his "violent behavior, his alcohol consumption, his agitated mental state of mind and his previous comments of suicide."

Neither Parscale nor his family has publicly commented on the incident.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org. You can also text TALK to 741741 for free, anonymous 24/7 crisis support in the US from the Crisis Text Line.

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