Saying he was tormented by political fliers and emails, Michael R. Bocatch, 75, of East Wenatchee, was charged with harassment after allegedly threatening to kill U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert and his congressional aide who answered the phone.
WENATCHEE — An April 1 phone call to U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert’s Wenatchee office isn’t being treated as a joke.
Michael R. Bocatch, 75, of East Wenatchee, spoke of being tormented by fliers and emails from Republican Party organizations, according to police, and threatened to kill both Reichert and the congressional aide who answered the phone.
Now he’s charged with felony harassment in Chelan County Superior Court, after allegedly admitting to police he made threats of harm over the phone. Wenatchee police seized two handguns from Bocatch’s home in the 300 block of North Joseph Avenue in East Wenatchee on April 2, but he was released on his own recognizance.
Reichert’s constituent services representative, Tyler Mackay, told police he often fields calls from Bocatch to discuss political issues. When Bocatch called the office on April 1, according to a police court affidavit, he told Mackay that he was upset about being on multiple Republican mailing lists, that recent medical issues were causing him mental distress, “and that he was seriously thinking about killing someone.”
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“He then added that he would have to kill a Republican and the only two Republicans he knew were Congressman Reichert and myself,” Mackay wrote in a statement to police.
Bocatch has no prior criminal record, according to police. When arrested April 2, he told investigators he “lost his cool” and told Reichert’s aide “that if they did not tell someone to stop sending him mailings he was going to kill someone,” according to the affidavit.
He initially appeared in court on suspicion of intimidating a public servant April 3, where Judge Alicia Nakata ordered him to surrender his handguns and have no contact with Reichert or his office while his case is pending.
Chelan County prosecutors formally charged Bocatch with harassment on Thursday. For a defendant with no previous record, the charge carries a standard sentence of one to three months if convicted.
No trial date has been set.