CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — A Cary man is facing federal charges after police say he threatened to shoot and kill children. Federal documents said he was sentenced in a similar case several years ago.
According to police, officers received a notification from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, alerting the department of a person threatening to shoot children on Wednesday. Douglas was taken into custody without incident that day at the Extended Stay America on Weston Boulevard in Cary, police said.
Douglas was arrested and charged but was able to bond out. Police continued to surveil Douglas after he was released. In the meantime, federal prosecutors prepared a federal complaint to bring Douglas back into custody.
Police say they used an IP address and statements made by Douglas to verify he made the threat to the NCMEC. While Douglas was initially charged in local court, NCMEC is based in Virginia, giving federal prosecutors authority to press federal charges.
Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told reporters Douglas violated his release conditions by using certain electronic devices resulting in a second arrest on Thursday.
“When we are in this situation where we’ve got an active threat like this, we are going to use everything at our disposal to try and get somebody detained, certainly long enough to appropriately assess and address the law,” Freeman said.
“We are in an era where people can very quickly mobilize towards violence, where every threat is a threat that we must take seriously. That doesn’t mean we should disrupt our daily lives. It doesn’t mean that we should fret, but we should be vigilant,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Michael Easley.
Federal documents say the suspect used the NCMEC’s cyber tip reporting service to threaten to kidnap and injure children.
Those court documents say Douglas threatened to kill every child in the hotel where he was a longtime resident.
Through a cyber tip, federal documents said he wrote, “This is the family of the people I’m going to kill tonight in 2 hours in this hotel.”
In several of his cyber tips, documents say he referenced killing Mexican children in the area several times. Another tip not directly tied to Douglas at this time read, “See I’m in a hotel and I said I’m going to kill like 200 children.”
The federal complaint states Douglas was a long-term resident of the Extended Stay America Motel in Cary. Bright Horizons, a daycare center, is located directly across the street from the motel. Prosecutors say in their complaint Douglas “might have reasonably been referring to a physical attack” against the daycare center.
Federal prosecutors say Douglas’s criminal history of threatening behavior dates back to 2002 and spans several months.
In 2016, Douglas was sentenced after prosecutors said he made a phone call from Johnson City, Tennessee to employees at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. stating he was going to drive to the embassy to kill them. Federal court documents said he also threatened to damage or destroy the building using an explosive.
Douglas has a federal detention hearing scheduled for Tuesday.