A Mahoning County man who identified himself as a white nationalist and made threats against the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown was sentenced to 41 months in prison Sept. 22.
James P. Reardon, 22, of New Middletown, pleaded guilty May 26 for an incident in August 2019, where New Middletown police were made aware of a video posted on an Instagram page by user “ira_seamus.” The video depicted Reardon holding an assault rifle, beginning with stating “(expletive) a life.” He then held the rifle in multiple firing positions with audio of gun shots and sound effects of sirens. The video was captioned: “ira_seamus: Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon,” to which he also location tagged the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown. The video was then turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
As part of the sentencing issued by federal Judge Patricia Gaughan in Cleveland, Reardon will be subject to five years of supervision upon release and must obtain mental health treatment as a condition of the release. He was also fined $200. He has remained in the Mahoning County Jail since his arrest following a 2019 raid of his home, which turned up an AR-15 assault rifle, a World War II-era German submachine gun, various pieces of Nazi materials, a rifle bayonet and vintage U.S. military equipment. His sentence will be credited for the more than 25 months he’s already been incarcerated.
Youngstown Area Jewish Federation CEO Andrew Lipkin said in a statement issued to the Cleveland Jewish News Sept. 22 the organization is “thankful that this is a case where everything went right.”
“While Mr. Reardon was successful in terrorizing our community, we are extremely fortunate that the legal consequences of his actions took place before an actual act of violence from which there could be no recovery,” Lipkin said. “However, the threats posed to the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown were traumatic to not only staff, members, and guests, but to the entire Jewish community. The JCC is the most visible and most visited agency of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, and serves as the hub of the Valley’s Jewish life as well as the corporate offices of the federation.”
Lipkin said Reardon’s words and actions on social media “shattered our communal security,” but with the sentencing he hopes the “community can begin to heal.”
“We are also hopeful that he now understands why the spread of threatening messages of hate is so dangerous and could lead to deadly outcomes,” he said. “Upon his release, we encourage him to become a productive member of society.”
Lipkin also expressed gratitude for the local, statewide and national support, and specifically thanked the local FBI and law enforcement for their “swift and strong response to this matter and for their continued willingness to keep the lines of communications open at all times. We are also grateful the legal process worked as it should.”
The Gypsy Lane campus where the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown is housed also includes the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation; Levy Gardens, an assisted-living facility; Heritage Manor, a nursing home; Akiva Academy, a Jewish day school; and Jewish Family Services.