August 7th, 2008
09:40 PM ET
6 years ago

New Details: Man held for alleged Obama assassination threat

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Raymond Hunter Geisel is being held on charges that he threatened to assassinate Sen. Barack Obama.
Raymond Hunter Geisel is being held on charges that he threatened to assassinate Sen. Barack Obama.

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) - A man was being held in Florida on Thursday on charges he told classmates at a training seminar that he would kill Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama if he is elected, according to a law enforcement official and court documents.

The threats came just days before Obama was scheduled to visit Florida and were made by a person discovered to have ammunition, a handgun and other weapons, authorities said.

An affidavit filed by a Secret Service agent in U.S. District Court claims that Raymond Hunter Geisel, of Marathon, Florida, threatened to "kill, kidnap and cause bodily harm upon a major candidate for president of the United States, that is, Senator Barack Obama."

A search of Geisel's vehicle and a hotel room in Miami, where Geisel was attending a bail bondsman training class, found a 9-mm handgun, ammunition that included armor-piercing and rifle bullets, police-style emergency lights, body armor, a machete and two canisters of tear gas, among other military-style items, according to the document.

Agents say that classmates of Geisel reported that, between July 25-28, Geisel used a racial slur toward Obama and said "if he gets elected, I'll assassinate him myself."

A classmate said that, one day after class, she also heard Geisel say "that he hated George W. Bush and that he wanted to put a bullet in the president's head."


Obama made several campaign stops in Florida on Friday, a day before federal agents arrested Geisel at a Holiday Inn Express in Miami.

During an interview with the Secret Service, Geisel said he couldn't remember whether he threatened Obama and the president, but told agents that "if he wanted to kill Senator Obama he would simply shoot him with a sniper rifle."

He later said that comment was a joke, the agent said in the document.

Geisel also said he has post-traumatic stress disorder, which affects his memory, and had once checked himself into a psychiatric institution for treatment.

The affidavit, signed by Special Agent Charles R. Adie, said Geisel "generally provided no excuse" for why he had the weapons and other items - claiming that he collects some of them, that the handgun was for target practice during the bail bondsman course and that he uses the machete and a hatchet for cutting through brush in Maine, where he lived most of his life before moving to Florida in January.

On Thursday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen T. Brown ordered that Geisel be held in jail until his trial, calling him a danger to the community and a risk to run away before his date in court.

The judge noted that Geisel lives on a sailboat, is unemployed and has no strong ties to the Florida area.

Geisel is scheduled to appear in court on August 18. If he has been officially indicted by then, he would enter a plea. If not, it would merely be a preliminary hearing on the charges.

Click here to read the Secret Service affidavit


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Extra
soundoff (662 Responses)
  1. Richard

    I'm admit; even though i'm not for Obama, i do pray for his safety. Wouldn't want anything to happen to him, nor McCain or any person for that matter.

    August 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Meira, NY

    Stop the hate. I blame the GOP for such silliness and foolishness. This is a decent man with a family. If you don't like the fact that he's running for the presidency, get the hell out of my country.

    USA all the way !

    August 7, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  3. Nikki

    "WOW, NOW I ACTUALLY WANT CLINTON TO BE VP!
    RISE HILLARY RISE"

    Deb, imbeciles like you make your home in the bowels of swine and indulge in the bliss of ignorance. Hillary Rodham Clinton will NEVER be president...not now...not in 2012....not in 2016....NEVER!

    August 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. dkr

    People that are saying it's a Hillary supporter? You people are the reason Hillary supporters are not getting behind Obama.

    I'm for Obama, but his supporters are full of hate!

    August 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Big Bill from Brooklyn

    I commend the Secret Service. Non-partisan protectors of our democratic-republic. They are unsung, but much appreciated, heroes. God bless them, God protect all the candidates, and God continue to bless America.

    August 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  6. Algal

    Good Point AJ,

    Barack Obama is the MLK our time and the FBI and everyone knows that. Most people are drawn to him and want changes for this country, but you got the hateful white folks who never want to see a black man be POTUS regardless of all the good he does and stands for. Just reminds me of watching MLK fight for rights that were justly due and the hateful whites trying to hold him down and sway the public's perception of him because they were afraid of his power...but keep on keeping on Obama. I'm with you all the way!

    August 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. Foreign Observer

    The question this story raises is this: how can someone so obviously unstable a) acquire so many weapons, b) get trained as a bonds man where he will be in touch with more criminals, more weapons, and quite a bit of money?

    August 7, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. Christine

    DEB August 7th, 2008 4:35 pm ET

    WOW, NOW I ACTUALLY WANT CLINTON TO BE VP!
    RISE HILLARY RISE

    There's no words........just sick...

    August 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Louis Carey

    My honest opinion on this is, when Mr. Obama makes it to the white house, and he will, something will happen to him. I really feel that way to im an Obama fan, but lets keep' it real this is an race world, that believe's in tradition, you take it from there. go Obama.

    August 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  10. Arkansas Undertaker

    " No weapons formed against me will prosper"- Read the word and listen to the song.

    Obama Clinton 2008

    August 7, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. LYNETTE IN CA

    OBAMA '08

    August 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. agent40

    Book em Dano!

    August 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  13. Megan, VT

    This is exactly what Michelle is talking about, and trust me...she has seen and heard a whole lot more. In spite of these cowardly acts, she still loves this country.

    Obama 08

    August 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  14. nate

    Gee Hillarys dream almost came true...

    August 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. Rob - WA

    Not even funny on any level. Isn't that a felony? Not funny no matter what party or candidate you are for.

    August 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. Kelvin

    Some people will do anything for attention, including Jessie Jackson.

    August 7, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  17. viromi z.

    OMG, I pray that God keep, take care, and bless Obama and family always and everyday because there are really EVIL people around..Please Secret Service keep him safe always.

    August 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  18. Joey

    "kill, kidnap and cause bodily harm upon a major candidate for president of the United States"

    So is it ok if you just threaten a minor candidate like Ralph Nader?

    August 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  19. Renea from Birmingham

    I betcha, this guy is best friends with Pat Buchanan, Lou Dobbs, & will land a job at FOX TV in administration...

    August 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  20. JW

    Why in the world are some of you people comparing Jesse Jackson to some loon that was caught with firearms and actually "joke" about killing Obama and don't forget he used a racial slur. Come on now, given the history of this country, how in the world would that be a good joke? Oh, and while the comments by Jesse Jackson were un-called for and stupid, they were cleary a figure of speech. Just pray for Obama and stop with the ridiculous comparisons.

    August 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. JC in SC

    Hey "United"
    Are you still eat up with Hillary hate? What an incomprehensible accusation!! Do you still need your Hillary Hate spew fix? Give me a break!!

    August 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  22. OBAMA 08'

    It's sickens me to see some people are still willing to go to the extreme of killing a presidential candidate. I thought that was over with kennedy.

    August 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  23. Obamamamma

    Your safety is of utmost importance Senator Obama. This country needs you to be the next POTUS. We pray for your safety always.

    August 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. gary

    ( UNITED) YOUR A STINKEN MORON. ITS PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT MAKE A BAD NAME FOR AMERICA. THATS WHY HRC SHOULD PUT HER NAME IN FOR NOMINATION AT THE CONVENTION. HER ,FAMILY AND SUPPORTERS PUT UP WITH ENOUGH OF YOU HATERS B.S. O.B.'S SUPPORTERS AND YOUNG FOLLOWERS SHOULD GROW UP ALONG WITH THEIR CANIDATE. O.B. AND HIS PROMISES TO HILLARY WERE JUST B.S. HELPING HER ,BUT SHE IS DOING HER PART. THAT SHOWS RESPONSIBILITY AND DEDICATION. AMERICA GETS WHAT THEY ASK FOR.

    August 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. DJ Los Angeles

    What an idiot. Lock him up in jail and do NOT let him post bail.

    August 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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