The California man who allegedly hatched an ill-fated plot to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was shy and awkward in high school — and never did anything that “stood out,” according to his best friend at the time.
Kenny Vergini said he was “absolutely floored” to learn of Nicholas John Roske’s arrest near Kavanaugh’s Maryland home on Wednesday, telling The Post it was the last thing he’d expect of his old buddy.
“He was a really nice kind, kind of on the geekier side, but when you got to know him, he was high-energy and outgoing,” Vergini said Thursday from his home in Simi Valley, California.
Roske, who graduated from Simi Valley High School in 2014 — a year behind Vergini — had left a handwritten dedication to his friend in his yearbook signed “Nick the Narc,” a nickname he earned in a drama class the two took together.
“Kenny, it was great having you in my class this year,” Roske wrote. “You are pretty much the only person I know willing to spend a class period talking to me about movies.”
“It’s a bummer I only started talking to you your senior year, but this year was great due to you. Thanks!” he added.
Vergini recalled Roske as being “a very smart kid,” who enjoyed talking about politics, philosophy and superhero movies, including “The Avengers.”
The two remained friends after Roske graduated high school and joined Vergini at nearby Moorpark College. They fell out of touch after Vergini transferred to UCLA, he said.
“He was a philosophy major and I studied political science and we would shoot ideas back and forth,” Vergini said. “He was really smart guy … But he never did anything or said anything that really stood out.”
He added, “Sometimes you hear about weird things that happen and you’re like, ‘Oh, I totally saw that coming from this person.’ And then you hear it happening with someone like him and you’re just like, ‘Nope, I did not see that coming from him.’”
Early Wednesday, Roske got out of a taxi outside the Kavanaugh residence and, after spotting two US Marshals stationed there, called 911 and told an operator he was having “suicidal thoughts,” had a firearm on him and wanted to kill a Supreme Court justice, authorities said.
When Roske was nabbed, he was armed with a Glock 17 pistol and knife. He also had ammunition, zip ties, pepper spray, duct tape and other items that he told police he’d planned to use to break into Kavanaugh’s home and kill him, according to a criminal complaint.
During his initial court appearance on federal charges of attempting to kill or kidnap a US judge, Roske was asked if he understood what was happening and whether he was thinking clearly.
“I think I have a reasonable understanding, but I wouldn’t say I’m thinking clearly,” he said.
Roske added that was taking medication, but didn’t elaborate on what it is or why he is on it.
Vergini didn’t want to speculate about his pal’s mental health.
Roske’s grandfather, Dan Shannon, insisted late Wednesday the charges against his grandson were “extremely” out of character.
“He’s a good kid,” he told CBS Los Angeles.
Roske said he was angry over the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion expected to overturn Roe v. Wade and the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 students and two teachers dead, according to court documents.
He also believed Kavanaugh would loosen gun control laws and hatched the plot to kill the justice after finding his address online in an ill-fated bid to “give his life a purpose,” Roske allegedly told cops.