WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A Warwick man was arrested Thursday — and now a chilling case of homegrown terrorism has taken root.
Neighbors say the arrest of 24-year-old Nicholas Rovinski is unnerving because the beach where he and his alleged co-conspirators discussed their plot is in a quiet, seemingly unknown part of the city.
Michael Baker, who brings his dog to the beach everyday, said the situation hit way too close to home.
“Very unnerving, particularly this beach. It’s kind of weird because it doesn’t get a lot of public traffic or anything. It’s just weird that it’s so close to home,” said Baker.
According to a criminal complaint filed against Rovinski, he had claimed allegiance to ISIS. For at least six months, the court documents said he had been posting comments in support of the terror organization on social media sites — including Twitter.
The criminal complaint also points to a YouTube video Rovinski added to his favorites list — showing viewers how to make a machete.
Authorities descended on Rovinski’s home on Aspinet Drive in Warwick last week. The home was searched and monitored around the clock, before police and federal agents arrested Rovinski Thursday.
“What they’re discussing is ridiculous. What’s going on in the world is ridiculous, though, so I guess that’s the situation we live in,” Baker added.
But unlike Baker, some said that they are not exactly surprised to see Rovinski involved in terrorist activity.
An unnamed man, who did not want to be identified on camera, told Eyewitness News that he had known Rovinski when they were both students at Pilgrim High School — saying he changed a lot over the past couple of years.
“We weren’t surprised ’cause there was always something off about him,” he said. “He had a couple of friends, but I don’t think he hung out with that many people.”