The wife of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Brad Parscale feared he was suicidal and said she saw him load a gun before hearing “a loud bang” as she fled, police documents revealed on Monday.
Parscale was tackled to the ground by SWAT officers when he didn’t obey commands and was taken into custody under state guidelines allowing for an involuntary mental illness commitment, Fort Lauderdale, Florida police reports showed.
Candice Parscale called police on Sunday afternoon, saying she and the prominent GOP political operative had “a verbal altercation” at their home on DeSota Drive in Fort Lauderdale, according to a report prepared by Officer Timothy Skaggs.
“Candace (sic) advised after a verbal altercation, Bradley manipulate his slide to the rear loading his firearm in front of her,” Skaggs reported. “Candace immediately fled residence and stated she heard a loud bang shortly after.”
Moments later, though, it was clear Brad Parscale was not injured.
“Candace stated that they realized that Bradley did not shoot himself when they heard Bradley ranting and pacing around the residence and the dog barking franticly,” Skaggs continued. “However they were concerned that Bradley might still try to shoot himself, due to him being in possession of several firearms and refusing to vacate the residence.”
Police eventually spoke to Parscale over a landline telephone and talked him into walking out of the house, police said. But as he walked out, police yelled “get on the ground” five times, and he didn’t comply, according to a report written by Sgt. Matthew Moceri.
Parscale is at least 6-foot-6 and Moceri described him as “substantially larger than I am.”
“I initiated a double leg takedown,” Moceri wrote. “I lowered my level and wrapped both arms around the subject’s lower body while applying forward pressure to his mid section with my forehead.”
Fort Lauderdale police on Monday also released edited bodycam video from one of the officers at the scene.
It showed Parscale emerging from a house and walking into the driveway with a can in his right hand. He put that beverage on the back of a pickup truck and tried to speak to officers before multiple shouts of, “Get on the ground!” can be heard.
Parscale didn’t immediately move before an officer rushed in from Parscale’s right to tackle him, footage showed. Parscale repeatedly said, “I didn’t do anything,” as he was leveled, rolled on to his stomach and handcuffed.
Multiple police officers on the scene reported that Parscale smelled of alcohol.
“Brad Parscale was very agitated with the situation, and I could smell a strong odor from his breath and body that I recognized to possibly be from alcoholic beverages,” according to investigator Steven Smith.
After subduing Parscale, officers seized 10 firearms, which included two shotguns, two rifles and several handguns, from Parscale, according to the incident report. Officers also retrieved a shirt and pair of shoes for Parscale to wear to the hospital, according to investigator Christopher Wilson.
South Miami attorney Alex Almazan, who represented the couple in a real estate dispute last year, called Brad and Candice Parscale “wonderful people” but declined any further comment.
Parscale had been running Trump’s re-election campaign before he was demoted on July 15 and replaced by his deputy, Bill Stepien, also a veteran Republican operative.
Weeks earlier, the Trump campaign was embarrassed by an underwhelming crowd at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which had been billed as the president’s major kickoff event.
Trump has been trailing his rival, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, in a series of national and battleground state polls.