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'Foolish, stupid event': Man accused of threatening Gov. Wolf free on bail

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch
Rocco Naples of Westmoreland County, right, arrives at the York County Judicial Center for a video-arraignment Thursday, May 21, 2020. He was accompanied by his uncle who was not identified. Naples is accused of threatening to "have a bullet" for Gov. Wolf.  Bill Kalina photo

The man accused of threatening to shoot Gov. Tom Wolf because of the statewide business closure orders remained free on $25,000 unsecured bail following his preliminary arraignment Thursday.

Rocco Anthony Naples, 28, of Pleasant Unity, Westmoreland County, has a history of alcohol abuse and two instances of driving under the influence, but he poses no real threat to the public, said his attorney, William H. Difenderfer.

Difenderfer told District Judge Joel Toluba that his client's phone call to Wolf Home Products was a "foolish, stupid event."

Under unsecured bail, Naples didn't have to post any money to remain free, but he could forfeit that amount if he misses court proceedings.

Naples will be on supervised bail with GPS monitoring and must abide by a curfew between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Chief Deputy District Attorney John Hamme requested that Naples also wear an alcohol-monitoring bracelet in light of his past trouble with substance abuse, and Difenderfer said Naples would agree to that.

Naples will be prohibited from consuming alcohol as a condition of his bail, and there will be "zero tolerance" for breaking that condition, Toluba said.

Naples has a degree in mortuary science and has worked at Jay A. Hoffer Funeral Home in Westmoreland County for about three years, Difenderfer said, and has lived at his current address for 10 years.

By the end of the arraignment, he appeared to be trembling.

This is the cover photo from the "Rocco Rock Anthony" Facebook page, identified by state police as belonging to Rocco Naples, who is accused by police of threatening to "have a bullet" for Gov. Tom Wolf

Naples is charged with the third-degree felony of threats and other improper influence in official and political matters, plus the misdemeanors of making terroristic threats and harassment.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 1.

Naples declined to comment Thursday, as did his attorney.

Background: Naples allegedly believed Wolf still owned Wolf Home Products, the cabinet company the governor sold in 2015, so he called the customer service line on May 8, police said.

The customer-service representative he spoke with sent an email to her supervisor that read, "Customer called in stating he was angry about Governor Wolf closing their companies but keeping his open, he said that him and a couple of his buddies have a bullet waiting for (Wolf) if he keeps them closed," charging documents allege.

State police arrested Naples on May 12.

Wolf's COVID-19 mitigation orders have garnered pushback from Republican state lawmakers and business owners, culminating in two rallies at the state Capitol and several smaller rallies across the state.

Most businesses had been forced to shut down or limit their operations for weeks in an effort to slow the spread of the respiratory virus. 

More:Man free on bail, accused of threatening Gov. Wolf over business closures

More:State police arrest man accused of threatening Gov. Wolf over business closures