A New Hampshire man is facing charges after threatening to kill a selectman at a public meeting.
The Litchfield Board of Selectmen reacted with surprise after Joe Cabral said he'd kill Selectman Brent Lemire.
"Don't even go there," Cabral said at the meeting. "I'll totally kill you right now."
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"Everyone went, 'Oh my goodness, what did he just say?'" recalled longtime Litchfield resident Peter Plansky.
Cabral is known as a whistle-blower of sorts who attends a lot of town meetings. This time, he was arguing about the cost of paper copies at town hall.
"To escalate to that level is very unusual," said Litchfield Police Capt. Ben Sargent.
Police charged Cabral with criminal threatening and disorderly conduct.
He was released on personal recognizance bail, but he didn't want to chat with NBC10 Boston at his house. His wife, Donna, said her husband never meant what he said.
"It was in the heat of the moment," she said. "There were a lot of emotions that night."
Police say Cabral turned himself in and has been very cooperative with the investigation.
"He stated it was in the heat of the moment, he was passionate," Sargent said. "But you can't make those statements, especially to a public official. No good comes from that."
Some residents say Cabral's comments have become more aggressive in recent weeks.
They feel the charges are proof that kind of language has no place in Litchfield.
"I don't think it was a serious threat, but you can't say stuff like that in 2019," Plansky said.
"We'd rather be in the news for someone being arrested than be in the news for a selectman's meeting being shot up," Donna Cabral said.
Joe Cabral has been ordered to have no contact with the selectman he threatened.
He is due back in court in August.