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Man accused of harassing Rep. Jim McDermott pleads not guilty

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Jasper K. Bell, 27, is charged with intimidating a public servant and telephone harassment for allegedly threatening Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott.

A man accused of threatening Congressman Jim McDermott on the phone, and in person, entered a not guilty plea to charges in court today.

Prosecutors have charged Jasper Bell, 27, with intimidating a public servant and telephone harassment.

Police say on May 4th, he called the Congressman’s office and threatened to cut his tongue out.

King County prosecutors say Bell issued the threat because he was upset McDermott was supporting Hillary Clinton and not Bernie Sanders for president.   Investigators say Bell also demanded staff members tell him where McDermott lives and reportedly said, “He won’t be safe.”

Court documents say Bell made nearly two dozen threatening calls to McDermott before visiting his office that same day.  Police say he showed up yelling threats, spitting, and pounding on windows.

He was arrested later that day.

The threats prompted a police presence outside McDermott’s office and home.  Documents say McDermott told investigators he brought a shovel to his office “to use in self-defense if necessary.”

Detectives say Bell apologized for his bad choice of words.

He’s due back in court for a case-setting hearing in two weeks.