TALLAHASSEE — Brad Parscale, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, reportedly hit his wife and had 10 guns inside his home that were seized by Florida police who responded to his house after a report of an attempted suicide, according to police reports released Monday.
The Fort Lauderdale Police Department also released body camera footage from the Sunday incident, in which Parscale’s wife tells an officer that he cocked a gun in front of her.
Candice Parscale initially heard what she thought was a gunshot and was afraid her husband had shot himself, according to the police report. She later concluded he had not because she continued to hear him “ranting” and pacing around their house.
The footage showed Parscale, wearing only a pair of shorts and holding what appeared to be a beer, being thrown to the ground by police after he agreed to come outside without a gun.
Before being tackled, Parscale can be heard telling an officer that “she started saying all this shit.” As they place handcuffs on him, he says repeatedly “I didn’t do anything.”
Authorities were called after Candice Parscale fled the house following a verbal altercation with her 6-foot, 8-inch-tall husband. She told police Brad Parscale had been under stress over the past two weeks and was talking about shooting himself. Parscale “drinks and suffers from PTSD,“ she told police.
Officers said later that Parscale appeared to be intoxicated.
Police on Sunday committed Parscale to a hospital under Florida’s Baker Act, which allows people to be detained and evaluated if they are deemed to be a threat to themselves or someone else.
Officer Timothy Skaggs reported seeing bruises on Candice Parscale’s arms, which she said had occurred a few days ago during a physical altercation with her husband.
Steven Smith, a SWAT team member who responded to the residence, said in his report that “when I asked how she received the bruising, Candace Parscale stated Brad Parscale hits her. When asked if he made these markings today, she claimed he did not. I continued to ask if Brad Parscale physically assaulted her in anyway today and she said no, but he did forcibly smack her phone out of her hand when she was attempting to call Brad Parscale’s father.“
No one answered a phone number listed for the Parscale home. Candice Parscale did not respond to an email.
Parscale lost his job as Trump’s campaign’s manager in July amid questions about his leadership and the failed optics of a Trump campaign rally in Tulsa. The drama and domestic violence accusations came just as Trump is retooling his outreach to women, with whom the president is deeply unpopular.
In a statement released Sunday, the Trump campaign called Parscale “a member of our family.”
Chris Pracitto, a South Florida attorney who specializes in domestic violence cases, said Parscale could technically have been arrested on a domestic battery charge for hitting the phone out of his wife’s hand. But, Pracitto said, it would have been a “stretch.”
“They frequently do not arrest under those circumstances,” Pracitto said. “If a woman shows up at the police station and says, ‘my husband beats me all the time and here are my bruises and he beat me last night or beat me last week,’ they’re going to go out and arrest him. But they’re using their discretion in basically stating that this is a mental health issue versus a criminal issue. It’s a potential suicide situation versus battery.”
The Fort Lauderdale police report stated that authorities had taken 10 guns they found in Parscale’s Fort Lauderdale home, including two rifles, two shotguns and several handguns. A Florida law passed in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting in 2018 allows police to ask a judge to revoke an individual‘s right to own guns if the person is deemed a potential threat.
Marc Caputo reported from Miami.