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. larryh wi

    I was afraid it would come to this. The US is not ready and it's not yet time.

    August 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Algal

    And race is not a factor in this election....whatever, wake up folks its not going anywhere. racist idiots make me sick and i mean that.

    GO BARACK and God will protect you and yours.

    August 7, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |

    I pray that God's Hands are on Obama and his family.

    August 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Rob

    Lock him up indeed!

    August 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. davrob1

    Please... don't kill the SOB, otherwise he will be revered as another JFK. Let him either get beat in the election or serve one term and get booted when he projects his Marxist socialism on America...

    NObama '08!

    August 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Chris, from WI


    Hate and racism is ingrained in people from a very early age; your upbringing fuels how you interpret and view the world as you grow older. Some have an open mind and discard what they were taught, but others live by how they were raised and will never change.

    Tis is human nature.

    August 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Deb

    So sad. I then you read the comment from Matt, Canooga Park and realize some people can be evil.

    August 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. Lynn

    what an idiot!!!!! killing someone esp. someone running for President is nothing to joke about

    August 7, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. Christy C

    Obama 08, he's going to win. So stop being a hater.

    August 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. p Coleman




    August 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. Jonathan of Tampa, FL

    Hopefully that never happens. I will be ashamed to be an American if it does. And for the looney that's thinking about will make Obama an instant martyr and he will go down in history as the greatest person ever. There will be holidays, his picture on money etc. Let America prove that it is the place where anyone, regardless of race or creed has a chance at anything they put their mind to. If you don't like that concept, move out of the country.

    August 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Worried in Illinois

    Lord, please protect Sen. Obama and his family. Amen.

    August 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  13. TRUTH

    Obama is the biggest celebrity running for the king of the world title. All he does is pandering for votes. He is an unelectable inexperienced elitist. I think people who vote for him are as naive as he is. But for a person wanting to kill Obama is crazy and should be sent to jail period. Obama may be unelectable but I think he is a good man and a good father.

    Unelectable, King of the world, Pandering. I think both candidates are doing a little pandering, they are running for the highest elected position in our nation. Also, is it not ok for the world to embrace the Democratic nominee and then therefore re-embrace the U.S. ? I see two arguments one from the Dems early on and another from McCain and his 500 dollar shoes, 12 million dollars worth of homes and rich in-laws. How is Obama an elitist again? Is it because he is confident and has a purpose? Is it because he wants better for the American people other than being despised the world over. Or is it because he comes from a single mother, broken home, and scholarshipped education? ( that last part would be sarcasm, since you have a problem thinking for yourself. ) Please stop watching Fox Noise and engaging in all the USUAL talking points and come with some factual information. Also I would beg to differ regarding the unelectable comment as there are rethugs jumping on the Obama train. Its almost silly how people will force feed this nonsense down their own throats.
    And that was cute how you got your shots in before you complemented him, another rethug smoke screen. Typical.

    August 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. Marlon

    I'll just shake my head to this one.

    August 7, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. Robbie

    What a moron.

    August 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. Vivienne

    It's all about the kooks, never mind that this man has a family, just as the kooks may have families. Never mind that he wouldn't be in this position if he hadn't won the nomination fair and square. They'll just knock him off, and anybody else who the people vote for that they don't like. It's sad, and makes me more determine to see Obama get in the White House.


    August 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. Montana is Obama Country

    And the wacko's are out..! Keep safe Senator and all of America prayers for you...

    Change we can believe in.... Obama 08

    August 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. jack

    Matt, Canoga park, you are a wimp!
    Nobody has a right to kill anyone, period! Jsse Jackson never said he will kill Obama nor did he try to create fear amongst voters. Republicans are it again that is why i will vote democratic in november.

    Obama 2008!

    August 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Ted

    Every Presidential candidate has had death threats against them in every election. Obama is playing the victim card again. He does it very well.

    August 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. Doesn't like Kool-aid

    I try not to resort to name calling, but you people who say this guy was listening to Rush, Hillary put him up to it, or that he must be a "repug" are idiots.
    This is a serious situation. Regardless of political affiliation, nobody wants to see or hear about a candidate getting killed.
    You all who think this are so far out of touch and have taken the political game way off the reservation.

    August 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Sharon

    All I can said is what a sick world we lived in. There is no unity at all.
    No change will come as long we keep fighting one another. We had 8 long hard years under Bush. Do you want another 4 long hard years of no jobs, health care, loss of homes, higher taxes (taxes will be increase to pay off debt) . Vote for change

    August 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Capt. Smash, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Another good and moral Right Wing Wack Job.

    A loaded handgun, knives, dozens of rounds of ammunition, body armor and a machete. is this standard issue for Republicans?

    August 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. Sue of Minnesoat

    Billary's October surprise.! Talk about it enough, it will happen. My prayers will be with him.

    August 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |




    August 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. jane in CA

    Can some one tell him if itchy to kill then go to Iraq or Afghan look for terrorists and confront them? No kill threat around here please. We have serious businesses to solve for the country. God protects Sen Obama and his family via Secret Services obviously.

    August 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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