President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager appears to be a man in deepening emotional crisis — drinking heavily since his demotion, physically abusing his wife, brandishing guns and threatening to shoot himself or others.
That portrayal of Brad Parscale, filed in Broward County Circuit Court by Fort Lauderdale police, was enough to persuade a judge on Wednesday to sign off on temporarily confiscating a small arsenal of firearms from the aide’s multimillion-dollar waterfront home.
The police petition to seize Parscale’s guns, released Wednesday, offered new details into what led to police tackling and cuffing him on Sunday outside the home Parscale shares with his wife in the city’s tony Seven Isles neighborhood. Parscale, ousted in July as campaign manager for the president’s 2020 presidential run, had repeatedly threatened to use firearms on himself or others since the summer and had shown increasing signs of stress over the last few weeks, the police petition said. At times, he was described racking the slide on handguns and threatening suicide.
In the petition, Fort Lauderdale Detective Christopher Carita claims the six-foot, eight-inch Parscale “poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to himself or others by having a firearm or any ammunition in his custody or control, or by potentially purchasing, possession, or receiving a firearm or any ammunition.”
According to police, Parscale owns a cache of weapons: Six handguns, including two 9mm Glocks, a 9mm Nighthawk, a 9mm Wilson Combat, a .45 caliber Dan Wessen and a .22 caliber North American Arms. Also, a Remington 700 model long rifle and Remington 12-gauge shotgun, a Daniel Defense 5.56mm long rifle and a Barreta 12-gauge shotgun.
The petition was served to Parscale on Tuesday night, said Fort Lauderdale Police Sgt. DeAnna Greenlaw. Parscale, who was involuntarily committed to the hospital through the state’s Baker Act law on Sunday, was not expected to be released until later Wednesday. It was not clear if Parscale, an analytics and social media guru widely credited as a key player in Trump’s 2016 victory, had hired an attorney. Gun owners can appeal to have weapons returned.
The couple released a statement to Politico late Wednesday saying that Parscale was leaving the Trump campaign because of the “overwhelming stress on his family.” His wife also told Politico that police had misconstrued her statement and that her husband “was not violent toward me that day or any day prior.”
“I am stepping away from my company and any role in the campaign for the immediate future to focus on my family and get help dealing with the overwhelming stress,” Brad Parscale told the Internet news site.
The police petition also laid out a detailed narrative of the Sunday incident. It was just before 4 p.m. when police were called to Brad and Candice Parscale’s DeSoto Drive home. The caller said Parscale had barricaded himself inside with a loaded weapon, fired it and was threatening to kill himself.
When police arrived they found Candice Parscale out front of the home. She told police that her husband, who had been drinking, racked a weapon and that she was worried he would kill her or himself. She told police, she ran outside and heard a loud bang, but realized her husband had not shot himself when she heard him “ranting and pacing” and the dog barking.
One officer outside the home was contacted by Parscale and eventually coaxed the presidential aide into coming outside unarmed. After starting and stopping a few times, police said, the towering Parscale finally went outside shirtless and carrying a can of beer. In the petition, an officer noted that before Parscale emerged his “speech was slurred as though he was under the influence of alcohol and he appeared to be crying.”
Once outside, Parscale placed the beer on the back of a truck before a SWAT member tackled him to the ground. Then other officers straddled him, turned him over and handcuffed him. He was taken to the hospital afterward and police said they gained entry to the home with permission from Candice Parscale.
While speaking with Candice Parscale, officers noticed several bruises on her arms. She said she received them after being struck by Parscale during earlier incidents. Candice Parscale said her husband slapped a cellphone out of her hand inside the home on Sunday, but otherwise didn’t harm her.
Police said a victim’s advocate had contacted Candice Parscale on Tuesday to discuss the steps for filing charges if she chose to do so. None had been filed by early Wednesday afternoon.
Parscale was demoted in July, after a series of stumbles that Trump blamed on Parscale. The biggest of which was a claim by Parscale that one million people had requested tickets for a Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally in June that Trump ultimately delivered in front of a mostly empty arena. He has been working as a digital director for the campaign remotely from Florida since his demotion.