A man whose mother sat five rows from Mohamed Atta on an American Airlines flight that hit the World Trade Center on 9/11 and whose funeral was eulogized by Hillary Clinton was accused Tuesday of threatening to kill President-elect Donald Trump.
Dominic Puopolo, 51, was taken into custody by Miami Beach police after leaving a Subway restaurant at Fifth Street and Washington Avenue just before noon. He was charged with threatening to kill a public servant, taken to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center and denied bond.
Puopolo’s arrest affidavit says he is homeless. As of Wednesday afternoon, he had not yet been assigned or hired an attorney. Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said that officers conferred with the Secret Service before the arrest and were told to charge him locally.
Puopolo was arrested after posting a rambling and mostly incoherent video rant on his Twitter page on Monday in which he claimed he was God, threatened to kill Trump and challenged the Secret Service.
It was one of several videos Puopolo has posted over the past several months, most nonsensical and religion-themed.
“Yes, I’ll be at the review stand at the inauguration and I’m going to kill President-elect Trump,” Puopolo said in the video. “What are you going to do about it, Secret Service?”
Then he went on to say he has four children with three wives and that “my other name is the Lord, Jesus Christ. What are you going to do about it? I challenge you. This is not the way. I am following orders.”
Puopolo lost his mom, Sonia Morales Puopolo, on Sept. 11, 2001, when Mohamed Atta commandeered American Airlines Flight 11 and sent it into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The flight had left Boston early in the morning and was headed to Los Angeles.
A Daily Mail story in 2013 told of how workers at the World Trade Center site found Sonia Morales’ hand with her wedding band still on it and returned the band to her daughter, Sonia Tita Puopolo.
Clinton, who knew Sonia and Dominic Puopolo’s mother through work done at the American Red Cross, AIDS Action Committee and American Cancer Society, read the eulogy at Sonia Morales’ funeral in Boston after the terrorist attack.
That attack, according to an essay Puopolo wrote that ran on NBC Dateline’s website in 2005, spurred Puopolo to fly to Hamburg, Germany, and attend the trial of Mounir El Motassadeq, believed to be one of the masterminds of the 9/11 attack. Motassadeq was convicted. The case was later overturned for lack of evidence. But he was convicted again in 2007 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
In the essay, Puopolo says he is simply “a member of a team, comprised of millions of honorable Americans, moved to protect our country and seek justice against our enemy.”
Of his mother, Puopolo wrote: “My beloved mother, Sonia Morales Puopolo, was tortured and killed Sept. 11, 2001, while aboard American Airlines Flight 11 in seat 3J. Her words and advice were just a blueprint on how to live life, and were given with the true love only a parent can give their child. They were meant to prepare for what lay ahead in life, after her death.”