Alex Constantine - August 8, 2008
" ... Geisel told authorities he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and couldn't remember if he threatened Obama ... "
By Christopher Stern
Aug. 7 (Bloomberg) -- A 22-year-old man has been arrested in Miami and charged with threatening to kill Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, according to the U.S. Secret Service and court records. Raymond Hunter Geisel allegedly made the threat during a class he was taking to become a bail bondsman, according to an affidavit filed by Secret Service Agent Paul Adie.
A search of his truck and his Miami hotel room turned up weapons including a loaded handgun, armor piercing ammunition, body armor, knives and military fatigues, according to the document filed in U.S. District Court. Geisel, who told authorities he moved to Florida from Maine in January, was arrested Aug. 2. A federal magistrate judge today ordered him held without bond pending further hearings.
One of Geisel's classmates told Adie that in late July Geisel referred to Obama using a racial epithet and said he would assassinate him if he's elected, according to the Secret Service agent's affidavit. He also allegedly made a less specific threat against President George W. Bush, though he wasn't charged with threatening the president.
Obama was in Florida on Aug. 1 and 2, though not in the Miami area. His spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said the campaign had no comment.
Post Traumatic Stress
Geisel told authorities he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder and couldn't remember if he threatened Obama, according to Adie's affidavit.
Geisel signed a statement denying he had made any threat. Adie wrote that Geisel told him during the interview that ``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.''
Geisel's court-appointed attorney couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Obama, 47, an Illinois senator, is set to become the first black candidate to head a major party ticket. He's been receiving Secret Service protection since May 2007, the earliest date that any presidential candidate has gotten a security detail since the practice was instituted following the 1968 assassination of Senator Robert F. Kennedy.