FBI determines possible source of hateful letters

Amadeus Smith

Letter sent to women’s basketball team is one of many in last 20 years

The FBI has determined a threatening letter sent to the Kent State women’s basketball team last April is one of many in a series of hate speech communications sent over the last 20 years.

After the 20-year investigation, the FBI has possibly found the man behind the slew of threatening letters.

Special Agent Scott Wilson, a spokesman for the Cleveland Division of the FBI, said David Tuason has been charged with sending threatening letters and e-mails to people in Ohio and other parts of the nation.

Wilson said the different forms of communication, which target black men believed to have relationships with white women, have been sent to professional athletes, musicians and even an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The justice, who is referred to only by initials, is a black individual known to the Grand Jury.

According to an indictment from the Northern District of Ohio Eastern Division of the United States District Court, Tuason, 46, of Pepper Pike, has been charged with eight separate counts of threatening communication.

“We always felt that we would be able to trace these communications back to the individual that sent them,” Wilson said.

There are two charges included in the indictment: Mailing Threatening Communication and Threatening Interstate Communications. Mailing Threatening Communication, the charge for the letter sent to Kent State, pertains to any threatening communication sent through the U.S Postal Service. Threatening Interstate Communications pertains to sending threats via e-mail.

The letter addressed to the Kent State Women’s Basketball team was sent last April.

Wilson said although the letter was addressed to the team, it contained threats of injury to two individuals, also listed in the indictment by their initials. The indictment notes that the two individuals are black persons known to the Grand Jury and Kent State.

“I am very pleased the U.S. Attorney’s Office has brought forward an indictment against the alleged crime,” Director of Athletics Laing Kennedy said in a statement.

According to the indictment, the harassing language in the letter include notions that blacks should be taken back to Africa and that white women will use police to find black men and castrate them.

The letter also addresses the public, suggesting people should kill any black men who are with white women.

With both charges at the felony level, Tuason faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Editor’s Note: Stater editors decided not to list the initials named in the indictment to prevent speculation.

Contact enterprise reporter Amadeus Smith at [email protected].