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Man who made death threat against Sen. Rand Paul has been arrested, lawmaker says

After a man threatened to attack him with an ax, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said "People need to not think that our political differences have to end in violence." (Video: WHAS)

U.S. Capitol Police have arrested a man who made a death threat against Sen. Rand Paul and his family, Paul said Monday.

The incident is the latest threat against a lawmaker in an increasingly explosive political environment.

In a tweet Monday afternoon, Paul (R-Ky.) expressed his gratitude to the Capitol Police, who he said had arrested the man.

“Thank you to the US Capitol Police for their arrest of the man who recently threatened to kill my family and me,” Paul said.

Eva Malecki, a Capitol Police spokeswoman, said the department does not comment on ongoing investigations. Sergio Gor, a spokesman for Paul, said he was not able to give any further details regarding the incident.

In an interview with Louisville-based WHAS11 News earlier Monday, Paul said the man “had threatened to kill me and chop up my family with an ax.”

“It’s just horrendous that we’re having to deal with things like this — that on top of being attacked personally, having a very serious, life-threatening basically attack on my person, and then being shot at, I’ve had a year where (I’m) just becoming more and more aware that we have these real threats out there,” Paul said.

The man made the threats in a phone call to Paul’s Bowling Green office, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. Paul mentioned the threats in a speech at a Rotary Club in Grayson County, Ky., on Monday, WHAS11 reported.

Last year, Paul was left with six broken ribs after his neighbor, Rene Boucher, tackled him in a dispute over yard debris. Boucher pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Congress and last month was sentenced to 30 days in prison. Paul has also filed a lawsuit against him.

Paul was also present when a gunman opened fire at a congressional baseball practice last year, seriously wounding Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).

Paul is the second lawmaker to publicly reveal his or her life was threatened in recent days. Last Thursday, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said she had canceled two speaking events after receiving a “very serious death threat” from an individual in Texas.

Waters had called for members of the public to confront Trump administration officials over the White House’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. Trump responded last week by warning the lawmaker in a tweet to “be careful what you wish for.”