Brad Parscale, President Trump’s former 2020 campaign manager, was taken to a Fort Lauderdale hospital Sunday night after his wife called police saying he had firearms and was threatening to harm himself, The Daily Beast confirmed. After a three-hour standoff with police, Parscale was eventually physically taken down and detained by several officers and had 10 firearms seized from his home.
Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Lauren Dietrich told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that officers had an encounter at Parscale’s home, which records show is owned by Bradley and Candice Parscale.
“We went out and it was very short. We went and got him help,” Dietrich told the Sentinel. She added that Parscale, who was removed as campaign manager four months before the election, is being held for his own well-being under Florida’s Baker Act. Authorities on Monday also released body-camera footage of the incident, showing a SWAT team tackling Parscale outside his home.
“I didn’t do anything,” Parscale can be heard saying as police restrain him on the side of the road. “I don't have any weapons, I didn’t do anything.”
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis confirmed that a SWAT team was called to the Trump hand’s house after his wife called police. The mayor said Parscale wanted to harm himself and had guns, though he said Parscale was not carrying a gun when he surrendered.
“His wife contacted us and it was a short encounter, he came out peacefully,” Trantalis said Sunday.
A police report obtained by The Daily Beast on Monday contradicts that account, however. Per the newly released records, the initial call came from a next-door neighbor who said a woman came to her saying her husband may have shot her. The woman, Candice Parscale, named as “Candace,” had bruises on her arms and face that she told an officer she received earlier in the week from Brad Parscale.
In portions of the 911 call released Monday, Candice tells authorities she left her house after hearing “a gunshot go off” and “doesn’t want to walk back in” out of fear her husband shot himself. Later in the call, Candice tells the dispatcher: “I heard a loud boom.”
The arrest report also notes that Candice Parscale said her husband had loaded a pistol during a heated exchange and told officers she was afraid he was going to kill himself. In the body-camera footage, a woman believed to be Candice, who is in a bathing suit and towel, stated Parscale was “acting crazy” and “cocked a gun” after coming out of his office.
To a separate officer, Candice also reported he had been depressed and suicidal as of late, and had been drinking more, the police report states. Candice admitted Brad had physically assaulted her in the past but did not appear to file a domestic-violence report.
“Bradley’s speech was slurred as though he was under the influence of an alcoholic beverage, and he seemed to be crying,” observed Officer Timothy Skaggs, the first to arrive on the scene, after a landline phone call with Parscale.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, the encounter lasted for more than three hours. At first, Parscale barricaded himself inside his home, though he later spoke to the intervening officers. At one point, he drank a beer in his driveway. Only when Officer Christopher Wilson, a personal friend, arrived on the scene did Parscale exit his house. It took a “double-leg takedown” requiring several officers to detain Parscale, who is at least 6-foot-6.
In the body-camera footage, an officer can be heard trying to speak with Parscale, who initially refused to leave his home unarmed. At one point, the former campaign manager emerges from his home shirtless with a beer in hand.
“I’m not trying to kill myself,” Parscale says, before alleging his wife “started saying all this shit.” Suddenly, several officers surround Parscale, ordering him to get on the ground.
After the altercation, Parscale was taken to Broward Health Medical Center, where he’s being detained for psychiatric evaluation under the state’s Baker Act, authorities confirmed to The Daily Beast.
Officers said they also recovered 10 firearms from the home. Police don’t have information on why Parscale was allegedly threatening to harm himself, Trantalis said.
“We have no information for why he was upset,” Trantalis said. “All politics aside, it’s clear that this gentleman is suffering mental distress, and we wish him and his family the best.”
The Trump campaign confirmed the incident in a statement Sunday night and, without any further explanation or specific citations, blamed the president’s political opponents for it.
“Brad Parscale is a member of our family and we all love him. We are ready to support him and his family in any way possible,” current Trump communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “The disgusting, personal attacks from Democrats and disgruntled RINOs have gone too far, and they should be ashamed of themselves for what they’ve done to this man and his family.”
Parscale had served as the campaign manager for Trump for much of his re-election run before being demoted over the summer. He has been accused of siphoning off large sums of money to build up the campaign’s digital and TV ad operations—allegations that he and Trump aides have downplayed or denied.
Since his demotion, he has been far less visible publicly, and multiple campaign officials and GOP operatives who know Parscale told The Daily Beast that he has been in a depressed state for months. Still, Sunday’s news still came as a shock to many in Trumpworld who hadn’t realized how severe matters had apparently gotten.
Parscale’s Twitter account shows his last tweet was Sept. 25, offering praise for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for planning a statewide reopening countering leading public health guidelines on the pandemic.
“It is time to move on with our lives and provide for our families,” he tweeted.