Man Charged With Making Death Threats Against Sacramento City Council Members

Sacramento County prosecutors have charged a 37-year-old man with making death threats against two Sacramento City Council members, as well as a City Council candidate.

Alexander Francis Hoch allegedly threatened Councilmember Katie Valenzuela, Councilmember Mai Vang, and Karina Talamantes, a staff member for Angelique Ashby who ran in the Nov. 8 election. 

The death threats were described by prosecutors as “unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific.” Valenzuela, Talamantes and Vang were made to fear for their lives.

Hoch was arrested Nov. 12 following a standoff with SWAT officers. Police had to use chemical agents to get him to surrender.  

Hoch’s arrest came just weeks after a man attacked the husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer inside the couple’s San Francisco home. Experts have repeatedly warned of escalating violence against public servants in today’s politically charged environment.

"I think it's a legitimate cause for concern," former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness told KCRA. "The calls for violence and extreme aggressive behavior against people, simply because they have a different perspective, different point of view... to resort to violence is never acceptable."

“Violence in any form, political or otherwise, is absolutely unacceptable,” said Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Thank you to our police department and district attorney’s office for acting quickly to protect our public servants."

See also: 

Death threats against Sacramento councilwomen followed months of misogynistic messages

It’s Time to Stop the Intimidation of Elected Officials