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

New Details: Man held for alleged Obama assassination threat


[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. OBAMA Supporter all the way

    Lock him up!

    August 7, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Obama Supporter

    Wow. Not a joke.

    August 7, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. United

    I bet Hillary put him up to it.

    August 7, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Kiah

    Wow! This isn't the first and won't be the last.

    August 7, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Beth

    And Obama is not even officially nominated yet. This gives me a chill.

    August 7, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. A Nightingale Sings in Berkley Square

    He's probably a PUMA repug!

    Did you hear that the Head PUMA has been embezzling from PUMA donations?

    August 7, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Franky

    Remember what I said before.......remember....

    August 7, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  8. ben

    fear bomb!

    Watch out people, Republicans fear bomb at works!

    August 7, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  9. Kevin, NC

    This individual will no longer be threat to any individual once he hits the general population of a prison yard.

    August 7, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. Linda from Prescott AZ

    Good Lord what are we coming to.

    August 7, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  11. Matt, Canoga Park

    Jesse Jackson said he wanted to do Barack bodily harm as well and his threat was caught on camera so there is no denying that he did it.

    No charges were filed against him.

    Double Standard? How convienient.

    August 7, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. indewoman

    so sad

    Obama/Clinton 08

    August 7, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. cherrystrawberry

    be careful Senator Obama. May GOD nestle you & yours in his sweet arms. Amen

    August 7, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. Disappointed Democrat, New York

    I fear there will be much more of this to happen. I don't like Obama myself, but I certainly do not want any harm to come to him and his family. May God protect them.

    August 7, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Michelle, PA

    This is the kind of thing many Obama supporters are afraid of. Secret Service, keep BOTH our candidates safe! If anybody can do it in a world full of crazies and haters, it's you guys (and gals). God Bless.

    August 7, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. McCain 08

    Eventhough I'm for McCain, I will continue to pray for Mr. Obama

    August 7, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Haters

    This needs to be taken seriously. We all have had the thought that there are white people who will do anything to keep an African American man from becoming President. We have our concerns about the lengths Hillary and her supporters will go to.

    August 7, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. rayofhope

    Here we go.... the first of many (I'm sure). There have probably been many more threats that we do not know about but because this one is being reported, it must be credible.

    This is a very sick world we live in....

    August 7, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Winston

    Ad admonish all who love Barack Obama to cover him with your prayers. That Gods shield of protection may surround him. Barack is embarking on new grounds. As I watch him shaking the thrones of his faithfuls hands I always cringe. Its almost impossible for the Secret Service to fully protect him at his rallies.

    August 7, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Dwayne - L, OH

    I'll make it quite simple. Prison is not where you want to be after something or anything of this nature. He's definitely going to be a starting receiver now. 🙂

    August 7, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  21. Abby

    Lord, please protect this man. Win or lose, please let him live a long long time to raise his beautiful children. Thank you!

    man, my heart jumped.

    August 7, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. lym


    August 7, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. megan

    It's amazing that still people in this country are so idiotic that they would even make an attempt against Obama. Just because this idiot denies it does not mean that he does not need to be jailed. So put the idiot in jail

    August 7, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |

    wow, what a nut! we need to remember we are all americans. not need to kill, just vote your will.

    August 7, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  25. Mary

    Yet another sicko in America. I guess the nut is comfortable with the state America is in why he'd wanna hurt Obama. Change Change Change all the way!

    OBAMA 08 & 12!!!

    August 7, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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