A 20-year-old from Ohio who police say has self-identified as a white nationalist was arrested Saturday after reportedly making threats against a Jewish community center in Youngstown.* James Reardon Jr. from New Middletown posted a video on Instagram on July 11 that allegedly showed him firing multiple rounds with the sound of screaming and sirens in the background. The caption accompanying that post read, “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Reardon.” Law enforcement officials say that “I-R-A Seamus” was Reardon’s online pseudonym. He was being held Sunday on a $250,000 bond on charges of aggravated menacing and online harassment.
As soon as they began investigating, law enforcement officials found Reardon’s social media feeds were filled with racist content. “There were several videos that he posted on Instagram where he used a lot of derogatory remarks towards the Jewish community, and the African-American community, things of that nature,” New Middletown Police Chief Vincent D’Egidio said.
The Youngstown Police Department and the FBI executed a search warrant at the home of Reardon’s mother on Saturday and confiscated two AR-15s, a rifle with a bayonet, a .40-caliber antitank gun, knives, a gas mask, a bulletproof vest, and lots of ammo. Police also found anti-Semitic and white nationalist propaganda.
Reardon attended the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Authorities say they found a video of an interview with Reardon from Charlottesville in which he describes himself as a white nationalist and said he wants a homeland for white people. “Today’s arrest is a reminder of the continued rise of white nationalism and violent extremism that we are seeing nation wide,” James Pasch, regional director of the Cleveland Anti-Defamation League, said in a statement. Uniformed guards have been put in place at the Jewish Community Center in Youngstown as well as synagogues in the area.
Correction, Aug. 18, 2019: This post originally misidentified the location of the Jewish Community Center. It is in Youngstown, not New Middletown.