Bristol man accused of threatening Farmington churches makes … – CT Insider

Michael Scott Pickering, 41, of Bristol, had his bond doubled to $500,000 on Monday in state Superior Court in Hartford after he threatened in open court “to kill the pedophile who took my children.” He is facing charges stemming from allegations that he threatened two Catholic churches in Farmington, police said. He was arrested Friday night after a standoff with police at his Bristol home.
HARTFORD — A man who was arrested Friday after a standoff at his Bristol home on charges stemming from allegations of previous threatening conduct toward staff members of two Farmington Catholic churches had his bond doubled Monday after he threatened in open court “to kill the pedophile who took my children.”
A bail commissioner in state Superior Court in Hartford had recommended that the bond for Michael Scott Pickering, 41, of Woodbine Street in Bristol, be cut from the $250,000 set by police after his arrest to $150,000, and a prosecutor agreed.
But immediately after Pickering, who had opted to represent himself, made the death threat, Judge Stephanie A. Damiani doubled his bond to $500,000.
As he was led out of the courtroom to the lockup, Pickering said, “This is a declaration of war.”
Pickering also said during the hearing, “My children were kidnapped 13 years ago.”
The charges are based in part on a July 24 voice message left at St. Patrick Church on Main Street in Farmington by a man identifying himself as Pickering, according to an affidavit by Farmington Police Officer Aaron M. Benham. 
“My two children were kidnapped by your cult of pedophiles,” the message said, according to the officer. “I’d like one of your fake fathers to give me a call back so we can talk about why my two angels think I’m the devil and they think you’re their fathers.”
A church employee told police that a sign found on the door of St. Mary Church in the Unionville section of Farmington, which is part of the same parish as St. Paul Church, said on one side, “Death to Pedo demons. You pedophile’s kidnapped my children,” the officer reported. The other side of the sign said, “Pickering angel” and listed a phone number, the officer added.
Based on a number of circumstances, one of the parish priests and another staff member said they believed “there was a significant threat” to the priest’s safety.
The judge ordered Monday that Pickering receive mental health treatment in jail.
At Monday’s arraignment, public defender Robert Fontaine objected to a television station’s application to record the hearing. But Pickering disagreed, saying, “If anything, I’ve needed the press involved for years.” The judge granted the station’s application.
Pickering also declined representation by the public defender, opting to represent himself.
A bail commissioner said Pickering has a “minimal” criminal record.
Pickering is charged with second-degree intimidation based on bigotry or bias, second-degree stalking, second-degree breach of peace and second-degree harassment, all occurring in Farmington around July 25, court records show.
Bristol and Farmington police went to Pickering’s home on Thursday with a warrant for his arrest on the Farmington charges. He refused to come outside, and police were unable to execute the warrant, according to Farmington Police Lt. Matthew Corcoran .
Corcoran said officers learned on social media that Pickering was barricading himself in his home and threatening police.
According to Bristol Police Lt. Geoffrey Lund, officers returned to Pickering’s home around 3 p.m. Friday to serve the Farmington arrest warrant in connection with “very threatening and concerning comments” online.
Pickering was “explicitly clear” that he would not peacefully surrender to police, according to Lund. Following several hours of failed negotiations, Lund said, responders used tear gas and took Pickering into custody when he emerged. No one was injured, Lund said.
Bristol police also hold a warrant for Pickering’s arrest in connection with threatening behavior, Corcoran said.


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