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Just a ‘rant by an idiot’: Charges dropped against man accused of threatening to kill Trump

President Donald J. Trump signs the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, in front of the South Portico of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Call it the idiocy defense.

A Florida man no longer faces criminal charges because his online skit about Donald Trump appeared to be “more of a rant by an idiot” than someone intent on harming the president, according to a prosecutor’s memo obtained by the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

With that consideration, prosecutors dismissed the charges against 26-year-old Chauncy Lump, a security guard from Oakland Park. He had dressed as an Arab for a skit he posted to Facebook Live, calling out Trump for ordering the assassination of Iran’s top military leader.

Middle Eastern music was playing in the background and Lump wrapped himself in a shower curtain and a towel encased his head like a turban. At four points throughout the video, Lump breaks out in laughter.

“He killed my leader and I have to kill him. I’m ready for Donald,” records say Lump said in the seven-minute, 10-second video that he posted on Jan. 3. At one point, he reportedly said, “I need to find the Donald because if I don’t find him, I’m going to have to blow up Broward County so please tell me where he is.”

During questioning by authorities, Lump said the video was uploaded from his cellphone and was meant to be a joke. He admitted it could have been construed as a threat against the president and Broward County, but said he had no intention of going through with the implied threats. “I should not have done it in the first place,” he said, according to records.

Lump was arrested hours later, his first arrest in the state of Florida. A federal criminal complaint filed days later claimed Lump broke the law by threatening the president’s life. The state also had a case against Lump on allegations he made a false bomb threat.

But in a manner of a 1 \u00bd weeks, attorneys for both the state and federal government decided to no longer go through with their cases. Lump spent 32 days in jail.

In a memo on the matter, a person whose signature is not legible explained that someone spoke with a deputy at the Broward Sheriff’s Office, who explained that the U.S. Attorney’s Office took Lump’s actions to be “more of a rant by an idiot,” than an act of someone with the “intent to actually carry out” his words.

Lump couldn’t be reached for comment.


© 2020 the Sun Sentinel