Benjamin Craig Matthews, a 39-year-old resident of Arkansas, has been taken into police custody after making repeated threatening phone calls to CNN.
Between October 31st and November 2nd, CNN headquarters received more than 40 threatening phone calls from the same phone number. Police in Atlanta successfully traced the number back to a cellphone account belonging to Matthews, and they forwarded the information to the Arkansas Police Department. The first day, Matthews placed three calls where he threatened to beat up Don Lemon, became increasingly aggressive and eventually asked the operator to help him kill Don Lemon. By November 2nd, Matthews became so hostile that he called CNN six times in only 23 minutes. Once connected to an operator, he asked three times for “pipe bombs” intended for Lemon. The suspect became even more gruesome and began discussing “bloody pictures” of Lemon that he would cut up into tiny pieces to resemble the horror film Saw.
After investigating the suspect, police have confirmed that he has also made threatening calls to Planned Parenthood, Senator Chuck Schumer, Representative Maxine Waters and Michael Avenatti. Authorities called these multiple instances a “pattern of harassment toward certain political affiliations.” On November 6, the Baxter County Sheriff’s Department successfully apprehended Matthews. He is being charged with making harassing phone calls and multiple terroristic threats. Overall, he is facing five felonies and 13 misdemeanors for his actions. He is being held on a $15,000 bond. Jail records have not indicated whether the suspect has enlisted the help of an attorney or not.