Following a segment on ESPN during last week’s Breeders’ Cup in which IEAH Stable co-president Mike Iavarone revealed a death threat against him and his family prior to the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), there have been widespread reports and internet comments casting doubt on Iavarone’s claim. That claim was confirmed Friday by the Nassau County Police Department.
Lt. Andrew Mulrain provided a detailed report to Bloodhorse.com on the death threat and the department’s actions.
“I’m the commanding officer of the Nassau County Police Department’s special investigation squad,” Mulrain said. “Among our other responsibilities, we handle the gang unit and counter terrorism, and we also do protection, working with the State Department and the Secret Service.
“We had already been assigned to the Belmont Stakes, which is one of the largest events the Nassau County Police Department handles, particularly when there’s a Triple Crown at stake. We assign up to 200 to 300 police officers for traffic detail as well as security. So we were already going to be assigned to that detail.
“We deal with our intelligence people, so we knew there had been some chatter on the Internet, and we set up a free speech area for protesters, because there are always some animal rights activists that are concerned about events like this. Whenever the circus comes to town they protest, so we knew we were going to get some protesters.
“A couple of days before the
Because the letter was received by the Tallahassee Police Department, the actual investigation of the threat was handled by their department. According to Mulrain, in
“I can verify that there was a death threat and we did assign detectives to them, shadowing them the better part of the day,” Mulrain said. “My understanding is that some people did attempt to contact one of the detectives assigned to the case, but he has since retired. He was an outstanding officer who was also assigned to our joint terrorism task force here. I think he was the only source they were trying to get to and they couldn’t get a response from him because he no longer worked for the force.”
Iavarone said he was incensed reading two blog reports casting doubt on his story.