The district attorney’s office is taking the reported threats from East Bexar County resident John Pratt Jr. seriously, even though an arrest warrant affidavit stated that he later claimed he was off his medication at the time.
Pratt, a 43-year-old U. S. Army veteran, was arrested Thursday on a charge of making terroristic threats.
According to the affidavit, he was undergoing a psychological evaluation at the Audie L. Murphy veterans hospital April 6 when he shared his plan with staff members.
The affidavit stated that he told a nurse he “heard voices” telling him to kill the Bexar County district attorney and the state attorney general using explosives.
Pratt also told hospital staff he’s a former Army combat engineer, and has knowledge of explosives due to his military training, the affidavit stated.
"We always take those threats very seriously,” said First Assistant District Attorney Clifford Herberg, “particularly when you have allegations of any kind of mental health issues."
Herberg said a doctor at the hospital called his office, initially to warn staff about the threats and notify them that Pratt was being released from the hospital soon.
The D.A.’s office then called for Pratt’s arrest.
Later, a doctor treating Pratt eased up on his perception of the danger.
The affidavit stated that the doctor told investigators he felt that Pratt was “not a danger to himself or others.”
It also stated that when investigators spoke to Pratt, himself, a few days later, he told them he had been off his medication when the threats were made but no longer wanted to harm anyone.
Still, Herberg said Pratt’s criminal history is a red flag.
"Aggravated assault, assaults, violation of protective orders, multiple violent crimes,” he said. “And we perceive these kinds of threats, we take them seriously."
Family members in Pratt’s hometown of Adkins spoke off camera, saying there is no way he would’ve made any serious threats.
“He’s the nicest guy in the world,” said one unidentified woman, who claimed to be a family member. “He wouldn’t hurt anybody.”
The D.A.’s office, though, isn’t taking any chances. Herberg said prosecutors are moving forward with the charges.
He said the district attorney often gets threats of this type. Each case is handled as a serious threat until proven otherwise, Herberg said.