A Houston man is charged with threatening Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), leaving messages at his Austin office this month claiming he would kidnap and murder the freshman senator and his father if they did not pay him $3 million.
An arrest warrant obtained by The Houston Chronicle explains that the man called Cruz’s office on June 5 and warned that if the senator did not pay his fee, “a bomb would explode.” Then he called a second time, after the office closed, and left another threatening message.
During the first call the man identified himself with a Muslim-sounding name, “Abolfazi Akbori,” but he was eventually identified as 37-year-old Nick K. Gates. Police said Gates made the calls from his home phone and was tracked down quickly.
He later admitted to making the calls, and told police he once spent nearly two weeks in the Harris County Mental Health Center. The Chronicle also noted that Gates has a felony conviction on his record, earned during a drunk driving stop when he threatened to kill his arresting officer and the officer’s child.