Trump's Ex-Campaign Manager Hospitalized by Police After Wife Said He Was Armed and 'Ranting'

Trump's Ex-Campaign Manager Hospitalized by Police After Wife Said He Was Armed and 'Ranting'

September 28, 2020

Police in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, took President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Brad Parscale to a local hospital Sunday after his wife said he was armed and acting erratically and she was worried he would try to kill himself, PEOPLE confirms.

The incident began Sunday afternoon when Parscale's wife flagged down a nearby Realtor who was preparing to show a home in the area and the other woman then called 911, according to audio released by authorities.

According to the incident reports, Parscale's wife told police that he "was drunk and they were having an arguement [sic] when Brad Parscale took possession of one of his firearms, racked the slide, loading it right in his wife's presence."

She "became so afraid for her safety that she immediately fled the residence on foot with no cell phone or belongings," the incident reports state. "After leaving the residence on foot she claimed to hear a possible gun shot from within the residence, but later stated it could have been a car back firing from down the street."

A friend of Parscale's who is an officer arrived on the scene and, after Parscale "was convinced to exit the residence," he was placed into custody and taken to a hospital for evaluation and treatment, according to Fort Lauderdale police.

Body camera footage of his detainment shows him shirtless and holding a can in his hand as he approaches the officer, his friend, outside his home. Parscale says repeatedly that "I didn't do anything."

"I'm not trying to kill myself," he tells the officer, adding, "She's lying. I'm your friend."

"She started saying all this s—," he says in the body camera footage, seemingly referring to his wife.

SWAT officers then quickly move in, telling Parscale to get on the ground. When he does not respond, an officer tackles him at the waist to detain him, the footage shows.

"Brad was drinking a beer and was clearly intoxicated at this time," the officer who is his friend later wrote in his report.

According to the incident reports, responding police felt "it was evident that" Parscale's wife "could not safely be left with [him] due to his potential for violence to her and/or himself."

Authorities tell PEOPLE, however, that he was not charged with a crime and that his wife was "not cooperative" with filing charges.

"Brad Parscale has been depressed and suicidal recently," police said Parscale's wife told them, according to the reports. "This has led him to consume alcohol a lot more frequently and make suicidal statements."

The 911 audio shows his wife telling the dispatcher that he has been under a "lot of stress right now" and that he had been "ranting and raving about something, I don't know."

In total, police say they recovered 10 guns from inside Parscale's home.

Parscale was then taken to Broward Health Medical Center, Fort Lauderdale Police Department Sgt. DeAnna Greenlaw told CNN. He was taken under Florida's Baker Act, which allows for involuntary detainment of an individual in mental health crisis.


Parscale helped lead Trump to his surprising 2016 presidential victory but was ousted from his longtime role in the campaign following Trump's poorly attended campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June and amid a months-long streak of poor poll numbers against rival Joe Biden.

The former Trump campaign manager had boasted on social media ahead of the rally that more than a million tickets were requested for the event, which wound up a hallmark disappointment for the campaign after an estimated 6,200 showed up to the 19,000-seat Bank of Oklahoma Center, reportedly angering the president.

Trump removed Parscale from the top job weeks later, in July, though he was permitted to stay in a senior adviser capacity. (CNN reported though that Parscale cleared out his work space and left the campaign's offices the day he was demoted.)

“Our thoughts are with Brad and his family as we wait for all the facts to emerge," Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman, told PEOPLE in a statement after initial reports of the police incident.

He initially said in a statement to other news outlets that "the disgusting, personal attacks from Democrats and disgruntled RINOs [Republicans in name only] have gone too far, and they should be ashamed of themselves for what they’ve done to this man and his family."

Murtaugh did not respond to subsequent requests from PEOPLE after the incident reports and other information gave a fuller picture of what happened.

It was unclear Monday if Parscale remained hospitalized. He could not be reached for comment.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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