JANESVILLE (WKOW) -- Police records show Republican Congressman Paul Ryan faced a death threat last year, although prosecution of the man involved was ultimately dropped.
The existence of the threat against Ryan (R-Janesville) was first reported by the web site Politico.com.
Janesville police reports reviewed by WKOW27 News show Ryan was at the Mercy Health Mall in Janesville May 1, 2009 when a man allegedly drove up in a car and angrily addressed Ryan.
"He said that just as they were reaching the sidewalk...a while male, with dark hair, in his forties, yelled out the window 'you've got a bulls eye on your head, you're going to die motherf----r.' "
Deputy Police Chief Danny Davis said Ryan's office had contacted police in the past over concerning e-mails and disgruntled citizens.
"He expressed a concern that this one felt a lot more personal to him."
Davis said a suspect, Brian Brodie, 44, of Janesville was contacted, and Brodie allowed a search of his car and home, with no weapons being found.
Davis said Brodie admitted to reacting in anger, but disputed making a threat. Brodie, a former GM worker said he was upset over the war in Iraq and personal problems.
Records show Brodie was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
But police records also show a congressional staff member contacted officers on behalf of Ryan to ask that the case against Brodie be dropped with a warning only.
"We were at a point in the process we were not comfortable turning back."
Through a staff member, Ryan declined comment. Brodie did not answer the door of a home at his listed Janesville address and did not return a phone call.
Court records show the case was dropped at the request of the Rock County District Attorney's office July 23, 2009. Deputy District Attorney Perry Foltz has yet to return a phone call seeking comment.
Politico.com included the Ryan threat case in its report on an increase in threats against members of Congress, and an increase in the number of congressional events requiring dignitary protection.
Online reporting by Tony Galli.
Inside Scoop blog - Ryan fails to trust instincts: http://addins.wkow.com/blogs/scoop/