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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Man Held In Florida For Threatening To Assassinate Barack Obama

A judge ordered Raymond Hunter Geisel to be held without bail after authorities charged him of threatening to assassinate the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama.
According to the secret service Geisel issued the threat against Obama while attending a training class for bail bondsmen in Miami in late July. Another tip received said he also had threatened President Bush.

Authorities searched Geisel's SUV and hotel room and found a loaded handgun, knives, dozens of rounds of ammunition, body armor and a machete.

The suspect says he is from Bangor, Maine and insists he is no threat to Obama nor did he threaten him. He also maintains he did not threaten the President.

[Update] CNN just announced that there was more than one gun found and that some of the ammunition consisted of armor piercing bullets. Susan Candiotti said this was word from secret service. (No links to that information yet online but will link to them once available)

[Update #2] CNN Political Ticker reports the man said his comment was a "joke".

[Update #3] An AP report says that according to court documents, the man said, "if he wanted to kill Senator Obama he simply would shoot him with a sniper rifle, but then he claimed that he was just joking,"

In the affidavit, the Secret Service said Geisel told agents that he suffered from psychiatric problems including post-traumatic stress disorder, but he couldn't provide the names of any facilities where he sought treatment.

Also according to that report, the threat itself was phrased as "If he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself." This was allegedly said after calling Obama a racial epithet.

Developing and will add any additional information as it comes out.