Brad Parscale, who served as President Trump’s 2020 campaign manager until July, was taken to a mental health facility Sunday night after barricading himself in his home with weapons and threatening to harm himself, police said. Parscale was detained without injury and transported to a local hospital.
Fort Lauderdale police said they responded to a call of an armed man attempting suicide around 4 p.m. Parscale’s wife, who made the call, told police he was armed and there were several firearms in the residence, police said. Officers determined he was the only person inside the residence.
Police said officers made contact with Parscale and developed a rapport, and then safely negotiated for him to exit the home. He is being held under the Baker Act, a Florida law that allows for involuntary institutionalization for up to 72 hours for a person who is believed to be a risk to themselves.
Fort Lauderdale police on Monday released bodycam footage of the incident. In the footage, a woman believed to be Parscale’s wife told police that Parscale was “going irate” and “came out of his office and cocked a gun.” She said she went outside to the front yard “to give him space” before she heard a “loud boom.” The officers began to talk with him on the phone and asked him to exit the house without a weapon.
In other footage, Parscale was seated in front of his house as the officer approached. Parscale, who was shirtless and was holding a beverage can in one hand, approached the officer and appeared calm. “I’m not trying to kill myself, I’m fine, I’m your friend,” Parscale said to the officer, who said in a police report that he was friends with Parscale and arrived on the scene to help when he heard about the situation.
Parscale then put the can on top of a truck in the driveway. At that point, several officers swarmed him, yelling at him to get on the ground before quickly tackling him and placing him in handcuffs. “I didn’t do anything,” Parscale said while he was on the ground.
Trump campaign spokesperson Tim Murtaugh said in a statement that 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,” Murtaugh said. “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 also drew Mr. Trump’s wrath last year amid stories of sizable payments to his firms from the campaign and Republican National Committee combined with reports of Parscale’s lavish style of living. Parscale holds at least one stake in Parscale Strategy, LLC, a vendor that has been paid eight figures by the Trump campaign, Republican National Committee and two joint fundraising committees linking the campaign and national party committee. Resentment grew around Parscale as longtime critics of the president’s campaign manager — and the president himself — complained of how much he was profiting off the campaign.
A close ally of the Trump family, Parscale served as the digital director of Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign and was promoted to campaign manager for the 2020 campaign. Mr. Trump demoted Parscale and replaced him with Bill Stepien in July, though he remains a senior adviser to the campaign.
Parscale’s reassignment came weeks after Mr. Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was supposed to be the president’s celebrated return to the campaign trail. The campaign — and Parscale — boasted of 1 million tickets requested for a 19,000-person arena, but only about 6,200 people showed up. The campaign also had to change the date after initially scheduling the rally for June 19, or Juneteenth, the day that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.
Pat Milton, Arden Farhi and Nicole Sganga contributed to this report.