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Alleged Extremist Asks for Release

January 21st, 2021 by Mike Vasilinda

Federal Court testimony in the case of a Tallahassee man charged with making a threat over the Internet to kidnap and harm protestors at the State Capitol painted the 33-year-old man as either a dangerous extremist or a man whose friends think is a loose cannon, who used over enthusiastic words on the internet.

The FBI arrested Daniel Baker last Friday after he distributed a flyer both on and off line.

It calls for right-wing Capitol protestors to be encircled and trapped inside the building.

In a video, Lawrence Keefe, US Attorney for Florida’s Northern District, said the arrest sent a message.

“We will take all appropriate actions against credible threats,” said Keefe.

The FBI testified Baker came to their attention after returning from fighting against the Syrian Government.

Federal prosecutors argued that Baker’s decade of homelessness and his written threats, are reason to keep him behind bars.

A roommate, a friend and his landlord all painted a picture of a good, but hapless individual.

“And he’s just a joy to be around. He’s bright, he’s energetic, he’s an entrepreneur. He’s volunteering for all kinds of things in the community. He’s the kind of person we more of,” said Suzanna Matthews, Baker’s landlord.

“He’s an eccentrically spoken person, so I would take it all with a grain of salt,” Desiree Dattis, Baker’s friend.

Dattis is a teacher and homeless advocate.

She first met Baker a decade ago.

She eventually let the homeless man camp in her backyard for a year.

“He’s a genuinely a nice guy and this just a lot of talk,” said Dattis.

And Baker’s roommate Eric Champagne told the court Baker did not want to hurt anyone.

“The FBI themselves were warning about this and I think he took the FBI warning seriously and I think he was just trying to protect his neighbors,” said Champagne.

And the Federal Public Defender admitted that Baker could be shaky, but that he would benefit from mental health sessions if he is released.

The judge did not rule from the bench and said a written order with be forthcoming.

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