UPDATE (March 1, 2019): Charges against Wallace Grove were dismissed in federal court.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach man was arrested Friday for allegedly threatening to kill Congressman Scott Taylor, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Court documents state 69-year-old Wallace Grove Godwin visited Taylor’s Virginia Beach office on Thursday. After a discussion about marijuana policy, Godwin allegedly said, “Scott is having an event this Saturday. I am going to get my shotgun and do something about this. I will just handle this myself.”
The documents also say Godwin pointed at two staffers in the room before leaving and stated, “You two are next.”
Taylor told 10 On Your Side that he was out of town when the incident happened but his office’s military liasion and assistant director, whom he served with, were there and able to get Godwin out of the building quickly.
Taylor, who is for decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level, said Godwin is against decriminalization and has been rude to his staffers before.
He wasn’t worried about his safety but was worried about the safety of his two staffers and said that some staffers did not start to come into work on Friday because of the threat.
“I don’t want to be out in the public and put other people in danger so, it’s a sigh of relief,” he said.
Both incidents were described as “aggressive interactions.”
Taylor said Godwin had blocked in his car and tried speaking with him about the policy, but Taylor told him to leave.
Taylor said Godwin has always left when asked but he’s glad staffers reported this threat.
He believes that there’s more that unites Virginians and Americans, but today’s political discord, including actions by leaders, has risen to dangerous levels.
“It’s never acceptable to rise to the level of threats of violence, or violence itself against anyone, or elected officials, of course,” Taylor said. “I think that’s the message a leader should send, and I’m hopeful that this charge sends a signal and a message of deterrence.”
Godwin has been charged with threatening to murder and assault a United States official. He made his initial appearance at the federal courthouse on Friday in Norfolk, but his bond hearing and preliminary hearing will be on Tuesday.
He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.